Common names:


Origin of name:

rosum/ -as = pink
niveum = snow white or growing near snow

Diagnostic characters:

Very large heads
White/pink bracts
Plants covered with white wool


Bushy herb, flowering when young and then single-stemmed, but main stem can become woody and nearly 10 mm in diam., taproot woody, stems c. 30�200 mm long, wiry, simple or branched, erect or decumbent, copiously white cobwebby-woolly, leafy. Leaves mostly 15�25 (�45) x 5�15 (�20) mm, diminishing slightly upwards, obovate or ovate, very obtuse, base narrowed, petiole-like in larger leaves, both surfaces copiously white cobwebby-woolly. Heads homogamous, campanulate, c. 7�10 x 8 mm, c. 15 mm across the radiating bracts, solitary or several clustered at the branch tips surrounded by green bracts webbed to outer involucral bracts. Involucral bracts in c. 5 series, subequal, loosely imbricate, exceeding flowers, silvery, pellucid, tips radiating, subacute, opaque white, inner often light crimson, fading to pink then white. Receptacle nearly smooth. Flowers (32�) 43�77, yellow, tipped pink. Achenes 1 mm, elliptic, with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, scabrid, bases nude, not cohering.


Possibly flowering in any month, but most records between May and July.


Grows in sandy or gravelly watercourses, around rocks, or in the crevices of rocks. A most elegant plant known only from the Kaokoveld and Namib Deserts of southernmost Angola and Namibia and south to Rostock and Rehoboth degree squares.

Desert Biome.



Allied to H. gariepinum from which it is distinguished by its homogamous heads; also, the two species are allopatric, H. gariepinum occurring only in the southern part of Namibia and extending into the semi-desert areas of the northern Cape. See also under H. marlothianum.



Helichrysum roseo-niveum Marloth & O. Bot. Jb. 10: 275 (1888); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 304 (1910); Merxm., F.S.W.A. 39: 97 (1967).



Namibia [Haigamkab] Hykamkab and Husab, Marloth 1212 (K; PRE; SAM; fragment BOL, iso.).






Galpin & Pearson 7658 (K; PRE; SAM); Hall 382 (NBG); Nordenstam & Lundgren 846 (E; S); De Winter & Leistner 5792 (K; M; PRE; WIND).