Origin of name:

Named after the Witteberg, in the Barkly East distr.

Diagnostic characters:

Bicoloured leaves
Leaf marks on stem
Greenish-yellow bracts
Large heads in compact inflorescence


Spindly shrub up to 900 mm high, old stems bare, rough with leaf bases, branchlets closely leafy. Leaves commonly up to 20 x 3.5 mm, or 35 x 10 mm on coppice growth, ovate-lanceolate, apex acute, mucronate, base broad, half-clasping, margins revolute, both surfaces sometimes grey-woolly, or commonly upper surface very lightly cobwebby, hairs soon deciduous or confined to the midrib, often minutely gland-dotted and glutinous, sometimes glandular-hairy as well when young, lower surface white-felted, striate. Heads heterogamous, campanulate, 5�6 mm long, c. 8 mm across the radiating involucral bracts, bases white-woolly, many in compact rounded corymbose clusters 15�20 mm across at the branch tips. Involucral bracts in 5�6 series, closely imbricate, graded, glossy, outer light brown, inner slightly exceeding flowers, tips obtuse, bright canary-yellow, minutely radiating. Receptacle honeycombed. Flowers 34�56, 6�12 female, 26�50 homogamous. Achenes not seen, ovaries 1 mm long with duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, tips subplumose, bases cohering by patent cilia.


Flowers between November and February.


On the high Lesotho mountains, the Witteberg and the Cape Drakensberg, in large but localized colonies on moist grassy mountain slopes or valley bottoms.

Grassland Biome.


Can be confused with H. trilineatum but has differently shaped leaves, broadest at the base.




Helichrysum witbergense H. Bol. in Trans. S. Afr. phil. Soc. 18: 387 (1907); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 205 (1977).



Cape, Barkly East distr., Witbergen, Ben Macdhui, c. 2 925 m, Galpin 6692 (BOL, holo.; K; NH; SAM, iso.).



H. splendidum var. basuticum Phill. in Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 9: 344 (1917). Type: Lesotho, Maseru distr., slopes of Machache Mtn, Jacottet in herbarium Dieterlen 1068 (SAM, holo.; PRE, iso.).



Esterhuysen 13192 (BOL); Hilliard & Burtt 7109 (E; K; MO; NU; PRE; S); Hilliard & Burtt 9685 (E; K; MO; NU; S); Nordenstam 2084 (S).