Origin of name:

tomentosulum = minutely tomentose
aromaticum = scented, fragrant

Diagnostic characters:

Very small flower heads terminal
Small delicate shrublet
Stiff-branched, branches often leafless or with tiny leaves, white-woolly


Shrublet c. 450�1 000 mm tall, branches virgate, greyish-white woolly, often yellowish in dry state, leafy (in var. aromaticum with short, stiff branches, each terminating in a small cluster of heads). Leaves mostly 20�80 x 6�15 mm, diminishing upwards, lanceolate or oblanceolate, apex acute to subobtuse, mucronate, petiole often small, but distinct in all but the uppermost reduced leaves, margins flat or somewhat undulate near the base, both surfaces closely greyish-white woolly, wool sometimes thin, 3 main veins of the larger leaves often visible on one or both surfaces, sometimes secondary nerves as well. Heads homogamous, cylindric, c. 4�5 x 2 mm, many in terminal congested or spreading corymbose panicles. Involucral bracts in 4 series, graded, inner about equaling flowers, not radiating, imbricate, oblong-lanceolate, sometimes keeled, subacute to acuminate, opaque white or inner sometimes rosy. Receptacle with short fimbrils. Flowers nearly always 5. Achenes 0.75 mm, glabrous. Pappus  bristles many, about equaling corolla, scabrid, bases cohering by patent cilia.


Flowering May to October in Namibia; February to March in Northern Cape.


The two subspecies appear to be completely allopatric. Subsp. aromaticum having been recorded only south of the 23rd parallel in Namibia and extending into Namaqualand.


Nama Karoo, Fynbos and Desert Biomes.


Two subspecies are recognized:

(a) subsp. tomentosulum

(b) subsp. aromaticum


Differs from the typical plant in its twiggy habit with short, stiff branches, each terminating in a small cluster of heads. The heads can be as tightly clustered in subsp. tomentosulum as in subsp. aromaticum, but the open, loosely branched habit of the former is diagnostic.




Helichrysum tomentosulum (Klatt) Merxm. subsp. aromaticum (Dinter) Merxm. in Mtt. bot. StSamml., M�nch. 2: 330 (1957), in F.S.W.A. 139: 98 (1967).



Namibia, Aus, Dinter 1070 (?SAM, ?WIND).



H. aromaticum Dinter in Fedde, Repert. 18: 248 (1922).



Dinter 5014 (BOL; G; K; PRE); Kinges 2469 (M; PRE; WIND); Merxm�lller & Giess 28189 (M; PRE; WIND).