Origin of name:

tenui- = thin, slender

Diagnostic characters:

Small compact inflorescences with few heads on short stalks
Bicoloured leaves, white below, margins inrolled (especially below the inflorescence)
Older leaves glabrous and glossy above
Leaves and stems densely glandular
Involucral bracts glandular on outer side


A tufted perennial herb or subshrub, stems wiry, branching mostly near the base, decumbent and rooting, then more or less erect to c. 500 mm, thinly greyish-white woolly, closely leafy, more distantly so under the heads. Leaves mostly 8-35 x 1-5 mm, smaller and more distant towards the heads, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, apex acuminate, base broad, ear-clasping, subdecurrent, margins somewhat revolute, glabrous or thinly cobwebby above, thinly white-woolly below. Heads heterogamous, or rarely homogamous, cylindric or narrowly campanulate, c. 3 x 2 mm, many in cymose clusters arranged in a usually compact, sometimes lax, terminal corymbose-panicle. Involucral bracts in c. 4 series, graded, closely imbricate, inner nearly equaling the flowers, tips obtuse, smooth or nearly so, scarcely radiating, translucent, straw-coloured or the inner yellow. Receptacle with fimbrils equaling the ovaries. Flowers 8-14, (0-) 1-3 female, 7-11 homogamous. Achenes c. 0.5 mm long, barrel-shaped, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, about equaling the corolla, scabrid, bases cohering by patent cilia.

Flowering in January and February.


Grows on slopes, in moist places near streams. Recorded only from the Cape, on the mountains near Paarl (Drakenstein Mountains and Seven Sisters Mountains) to the Koudebokkeveld Mountains near Citrusdal, and the mountains about Murraysburg and Graaff-Reinet.

Fynbos Biome.


Rarely collected. H. tenuiculum is sometimes confused with H. cymosum but is distinguished by its generally differently shaped leaves with different indumentum, and heads with bracts either tawny, or the outer tawny or brownish, the inner yellow. See also H. melanacme.




Helichrysum tenuiculum DC., Prodr. 6: 203 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 246 (1865).



Cape, Drakensteensberg, Du Toit's Kloof, Dr�ge 5747 (G-DC, holo.; BM; E; TCD; S, iso.).






Esterhuysen 21113 (BOL; NBG; NU) and 21180 (BOL; NBG; PRE); Tyson 161 (BM); Wall 245 (S).