Helichrysum populifolium, the poplar helichrysum, is woody at the stem base. Growing to 2 m in height, it is one of the largest among local helichrysums.
As the names indicate, the plant resembles the poplar tree. The large, soft, grey leaves are heart-shaped, oblong or round with entire and wavy margins. They are covered, especially on the lower surface, with fine whitish felted hairs. White net-veining radiates out across the leaf surfaces.
The flowers are honey-scented, small and white to yellow, made conspicuous by the size of their grouping into abundant panicles that appear in autumn.
The species distribution is coastal in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape from Noodsberg to Port St Johns. It thrives in shade, growing at forest edges, cliffs and rocky outcrops. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (http://earthlandscapes.blogspot.com; www.plantzafrica.com; http:redlist.sanbi.org).