Diagnostic characters:

Leaves narrow, margins rolled under
Bright yellow flowers
Bracts with dark brown tips
Medium sized heads
Compact dense inflorescence


Shrublet, to c. 450 mm, branches virgate, young parts greyish-white woolly-felted, leafy. Leaves mostly 10-20 x 1-2 mm, reduced and more distant on flowering twigs, linear to linear-oblong, apex acute, mucronate, base slightly narrowed, half-clasping, margins revolute, both surfaces greyish-white woolly, often becoming cobwebby above. Heads heterogamous, campanulate, c. 4 x 2-3 mm, many in compact rounded terminal clusters up to 20 mm across. Involucral bracts in 4-5 series, imbricate, graded, inner about equaling flowers, oblong, backs loosely silky-woolly, tips broad, rounded, pellucid, tawny, minutely radiating. Receptacle with fimbrils much exceeding ovaries. Flowers 12-18, 1-3 female, 9-15 homogamous. Achenes not seen, ovaries glabrous. Pappus bristles many, about equaling corolla, scabrid, barbellate above, bases cohering by patent cilia.

Flowering between August and October.


Endemic to the southern Cape, and recorded only from Swellendam and Riversdale divisions, on plateau and hillslopes.

Fynbos Biome.



Helichrysum plebeium DC., Prodr. 6: 206 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 249 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 287 (1910).



Lectotype: Cape, Swellendam, Ecklon 1669 (G-DC; SAM, isolecto.).



Gnaphalium plebeium (DC.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg 3: 172 (1845).



Acocks 22682 (K; PRE); Esterhuysen 24624 (BOL); Liebenberg 6531 (PRE); Wurts 309 (NBG).