Origin of name:

tenuifolium = with slender / narrow leaves

Diagnostic characters:

Needle-like leaves
Medium sized heads
Compact inflorescence
Yellow bracts


Twiggy, rounded shrub up to 2 m high, old branches bare, rough with leaf bases, branchlets white-woolly, closely leafy. Leaves 7�18 x 1�1.5 mm, linear, apex mucronate, acute, hooked, base broad, half-clasping, margins revolute, upper surface with minute, elongated appressed trichomes, later glabrous or nearly so, lower surface white-woolly. Heads heterogamous, campanulate, 4�5 mm long and as much across the radiating bracts, bases woolly, many in compact terminal corymbose clusters 10�20 mm across. Involucral bracts in c. 4�5 series, graded, closely imbricate, glossy, outer palest brown often tipped reddish or orange when young, inner about equaling the flowers, tips obtuse, bright canary-yellow, minutely radiating. Receptacle shortly honeycombed. Flowers 27�45, 7�15 female, 19�30 homogamous. Achenes 0.75 mm long, with duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, scabrid, bases cohering by patent cilia.

Flowers in November and December.


Grows in colonies in rocky gullies, along streamsides, in boulder beds, among rock outcrops, or as a constituent of fynbos, above 1 650 m. Recorded from only the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg between Cathedral Peak and the upper Polela, west of Himeville.

Grassland Biome.


Very showy. Can be confused with H. trilineatum, but has appressed trichomes, not gland dots, on the upper leaf surface.




Helichrysum tenuifolium Killick in Bothalia 6: 424 (1954); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 204 (1977).



Lectotype: KwaZulu-Natal, Bergville distr., Cathedral Peak Forest Research Station, Killick 1591 (PRE; BM; K; NU; S, isolecto.).






Hilliard & Burtt 9290 (E; K; NU; S); Schelpe 960 (NU); Wright (E; NH; NU).