T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Helichrysum plumeum (NZ alpine strawflower)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Gnaphalieae
Genus: Helichrysum
Species: H. plumeum
Scientific name: Helichrysum plumeum
Synonyms: Ozothamnus plumeus, Helichrysum selago var. tomentosum.
Common name: NZ alpine strawflower.

A native alpine helichrysum from the drier mountains of South Canterbury from the Two Thumb range southwards. It grows at sub and alpine levels in stony places and it needs very good drainage and has to have full sun. It can withstand temperatures down to -12º C.
It is an evergreen alpine growing up to 60cm tall with simple broadly triangular-ovate leaves that are 2-3mm long, bearing long fulvous hairs. The leaves are arranged opposite one another and they are linear with entire margins. They are linear with entire margins. 
In season it has many solitary yellow petaled flowers which are arranged in corymbs (flat-topped flower clusters). The fruits are achenes (small, dry, indehiscent one-seeded fruit with a thin wall).

Photographed at Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve. Wellington.








 

 

The flower.