This flowering Helichrysum nudifolium was seen in Kirstenbosch during September. The plant forms clumps. The leaves are dark green and shiny above, whitish from fine, woolly hairs on the lower surfaces. Leaves are aromatic when dry. The inflorescence is flat-topped, its multitude if tiny flowerheads each comprising a bunch of tiny disc florets. The flowers are presented well above the leaves on a long greyish stalk.
There are several varieties of H. nudifolium with leaf and flower colour differences. The plant is found in grasslands from the Eastern Cape to tropical Africa.
The plant is important in the history of local traditional medicine, maybe still used. A South African common name, Hottentot’s tea, suggests how. It grows easily. The clump of leaf rosettes can be divided for transplanting. Positioned in full sun, watering is needed in summer in the absence of rain (www.plantzafrica.com).