Origin of name:

xeros = dry
chrysos = old, yellow

Diagnostic characters:

Bright yellow bracts with orange-brown tips
Large flower heads
Open branched inflorescence on long stalks


Perennial herb, rootstock woody, crowned with one or a few leaf rosettes, flowering stems one or a few lateral to the rosette, erect, simple, leafy below, becoming pedunculoid and distantly bracteate upwards, tawny- or grey-woolly. Radical leaves c. 60�100 x 25�50 mm, oblong-elliptic, apex subacute, base slightly narrowed, clasping, both surfaces grey-woolly; cauline leaves similar but becoming lanceolate upwards, broad-based, decurrent in long narrow wings. Heads homogamous, subglobose, c. 10 x 20 mm across when fully radiating, few on nude peduncles in a lax corymbose panicle. Involucral bracts in c. 10 series, graded, loosely imbricate, inner exceeding flowers, radiating, acute, golden-yellow overlaid reddish brown. Receptacle with fimbrils exceeding ovaries. Flowers 122�240. Achenes not seen, ovaries glabrous. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, yellow, barbellate in upper half, bases cohering strongly by patent cilia.


Flowering in December and January.


Grows on moist grassy mountain and hill slopes. Ranges from southernmost KwaZulu-Natal (Alfred and Ixopo districts) through the Transkei to the Amatola Mountains, Katberg, Boschberg at Somerset East, and Grahamstown.

Grassland and Thicket Biomes.


Distinctive and easily recognized.




Helichrysum xerochrysum DC., Prodr. 6: 201 (1838); Harv. in F. C. 3: 243 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 321 (1910).



Cape, between the Kei and Bashee, Dr�ge 5020 (G-DC, holo.; BM; P, iso.).



Gnaphalium xerochrysum (DC.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg 3: 171 (1845).



Acocks 9573 (PRE); Flanagan 2650 (PRE; SAM); Galpin 6296 (PRE); Hilliard & Burtt 11206 (E; K; MO; NU; PRE; S); Pegler 1571 (BM).