Diagnostic characters:

Winged stems
Inflorescence an open panicle of small clusters of heads
Growing in wet habitats
Long narrow leaves


Perennial herb, straggling, with scandent stem and branches growing through bush and shrub clumps, strongly aromatic; stem up to 2 m long, narrowly winged and whitish-woolly throughout, simple below, branching above, branches long, terminating in corymbose panicles. Leaves  linear-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 30 � 90( �120) x 5 � 10( �15) mm, narrowed to the sessile decurrent base, decurrent on stem in long narrow wings, 1 �3-veined, margins revolute, entire to slightly undulate, apex acute to acuminate, scabrous above and lightly cobwebby below. Heads  heterogamous, oblong-campanulate, (4�)5 �7-flowered, c. 2.5�3.0 x 1.0�1.5 mm, sessile, many together in dense branched terminal cymes. Peduncle floccose-woolly. Involucral bracts 2 �5-seriate, bright canary to golden yellow in upper parts, light yellow below, 1.5�2.5 x 0.4�2.2 mm, about equal to or only slightly exceeding florets; outermost dark medially and thinly floccose, 1.5�1.7 x 2 mm; middle and inner glabrous, c. 2.2 x 0.4 mm; margins entire or lacerate; stereome fenestrated. Receptacle  foveolate, fimbrillate with fimbrils at least equaling ovaries. Flowers 4�7, c. 2.5 mm long; 3 �5 female, 1�3 hermaphrodite, light yellow. Corolla of female florets c. 1.8 mm long, 4-lobed; those of hermaphrodite florets 2 �2.1 mm long, 5-lobed, lobes sparsely papillose.  Achenes  light brown, oblong, c. 0.75 � 1 x 0.4 mm, minutely glandular-papillose. Pappus  whitish-yellow, c 2 mm long, barbellate, delicate, bases cohering by patent cilia.


Flowering in April and May.


Grows in streamside or marshside scrub, straggling up through rank vegetation. Widespread in the eastern half of South Africa from East Londen and Komgha in the Eastern Cape, through the more coastal parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Also in Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zaire, Burundi, Nigeria, Cameroun, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique

Savanna, Thicket and Grassland Biomes.


Treated as Achyrocline stenoptera by Hilliard, but later investigations could not show any reliable character differentiating between Archyrocline and Helichrysum.



Helichrysum stenopterum DC. ,Prodr. 6: 201  (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 244 (1865);  Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 241 (1910); Compton, fl. Swaziland 635 (1976); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 149 (1977) .



South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, between the Umkomaas and Umzimkulu Rivers, Dr�ge  5011  (G-DC, holo; BM, K, iso).



Gnaphalium stenopterum (DC.) Sch. Bip. in Mohl & Schlechter, Bot. Zeit. 3: 172 (1845) . Type as above.

Helichrysum hochstetteri Sch. Bip., nom. nud., quoad Schimper 1058.

Achyrocline (Gnaphalium) hochstetteri Sch.Bip. in Mohl & Schlechter, Bot. Zeit. 3: 174 (1845); Oliver & Hiern in Oliver (ed.), Fl. Trop. Afr., 3: 339 (1877); Chiovenda, Fl. Col., Eritrea 1(2): 175 (1904), op. cit. 1(3): 463 (1908); Engler, Sitz. Preuss. Acad. Wissen. Berlin 40: 735 (1906),   nom. nud., quoad Schimper 1058.

Gnaphalium hochstetteri Sch.Bip. in Schweinfurth, Beitr. Fl. Aethiop.: 149 (1867).

A. hochstetteri A. Rich., Tent. Fl. Abyss. 1: 429 (1848); Vatke, Linnaea 39: 489 (1875), Oliver & Hiern in Oliver (ed.), Fl. Trop. Afr., 3: 339 (1877); O. Hoffmann in Engler, Pflanzenw. Ost-Afrikas, C: 411 (1895); Chiovenda, Ann. R. Ist. Bot. Roma 8(2): 175 (1904); Hutchinson & Dalziel, Fl. W. Trop. Afr. 2,1: 159 (1931). Type: Ethiopia, Mt. Kubbi, nr. Adwa, 12 Dec. 1837, Schimper 237 (BM, K, UPS, syntype), ibid., Schimper 1058 (BM, K, syntype).

H. hochstetteri (A. Rich.) Hook.f. in J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 6: 13 (1861); Moeser, Bot. Jahrb. 44: 241 (1910); Fries, Acta Hort. Berg. 9: 130 (1929) Types as for A. hochstetteri A.Rich.

Achyrocline stenoptera (DC.) Hilliard & Burtt in Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 82: 202 (1981), in Leistner (ed.) Fl. Southern Afr. 33(7): 59 (1983). Type as for H. stenopterum DC.

H. odoratissimum auct. non (L.) Sweet (1826); Andrews, Fl. Pl. Sudan 3: 35 (1956); Hedberg, Symb. Bot. Upsal. 15: 201 (1957) p.p. (Eth. spec. excl. Gnaphalium pentitianum A. Rich. in syn.); Cufodontis, Senck. boil. 47(4): 256); Bull. Jard. Bot. Etat Brux. 36: 1112 (1966), Stuttg. Beitr. Naturk. Nr. 195: 4 (1968) p.p. excl. G. petitianum A. Rich. in syn.



Compton 27767 (PRE); Gerstner 8309 (PRE); Hilliard 5020 (E, K, S, NBG, NH, NU, PRE, SRGH); Hilliard & Burtt 10305 (E, K, NU, MO, S, PRE); Wilms 740 (E, NU).