Origin of name:

rotundifolium = with round leaves

Diagnostic characters:

Spathulate thickly woolly leaves
Leaves beneath inflorescence
Compact flower heads
Medium sized flowers


Perennial herb, much branched from a thick (up to 10 mm diam.) woody, creeping underground stock, aerial flowering branches up to c. 150 mm long, several radiating from each crown, mostly simple, decumbent-ascending, grey-woolly, leafy. Radical leaves rosetted, up to 30 x 18 mm, broadly elliptic to subrotund, very obtuse, densely greyish-white woolly; cauline leaves similar but smaller and tending towards oblong-spathulate, half-clasping. Heads homogamous, campanulate, 5�8 x 4�5 mm, rarely solitary, usually 2�7 in terminal clusters surrounded by leaves. Involucral bracts in c. 5 series, subequal, loosely imbricate, outer series pale brown, loosely webbed together with wool, inner slightly exceeding flowers, sometimes purplish above the stereome, tips opaque white, very obtuse, crisped, radiating. Receptacle nearly smooth. Flowers 24�54. Achenes not seen, ovaries with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, in more than one series, about equaling the corolla, tips scabrid, scabridulous below, fused at base in bundles.

Flowering mainly between November and January.


Grows in open places. On the mountains in the SW. and S. Cape, from Great Winterhoek near Tulbagh south to the mountains of the Cape Peninsula, Wellington Sneeukop and east across the Langeberg and Swartberg to the mountains near Uniondale, between c. 650 and 1 800 m.

Fynbos and Nama Karoo Biomes.



Helichrysum rotundifolium (Thunb.) Less., Syn. Comp. 277 (1832); DC., Prodr. 6: 176 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 224 (1865).



Cape of Good Hope, Thunberg (sheet 19246, UPS, holo.).



Gnaphalium rotundifolium Thunb., Prodr. 152 (1800), Fl. Cap. 660 (1823). Spiralepis rotundifolia (Thunb.) D. Don in Mem. Wern. nat. Hist. Soc. 552 (1826).

Helichrysum nummularium Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 307 (1910); Levyns in Adamson & Salter, Fl. Cape Penins. 782 (1950). Lectotype: Cape, Sir Lowry's Pass, Schlechter 7231 (Z; BM; E; G; PRE; SAM, isolecto.).



Acocks 19984 (PRE); Compton 19576 (NBG); Esterhuysen 33072 (BOL; E; PRE); Pillans 8482 (BOL; PRE); Stokoe SAM 68696 (SAM).