Mature Helichrysum cymosum shrubs spread to 1 m in diameter. The many branches do tend to the vertical though, with flowering happening at the upright stem tips. Younger specimens appear more erect before the spreading commences. This young Fernkloof plant with its straggling tangle of stems and not exposed to full sun all day, looks much greener than one might expect in midsummer.
There are white velvety stem surfaces with sparsely scattered alternate leaves up to the flowerheads. Leaf margins are slightly rolled under.
The individual flowerheads forming large, showy, flat-topped clusters are narrowly cylindrical, encircled by yellow bracts and disc-shaped above (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Manning, 2007).