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


Helichrysum cymosum (Yellow-tipped straw-flower)

Kingdom:  Plantae
Phylum:  Spermatophyta
Class:  Magnoliopsida
Order:       Asterales
Family:      Asteraceae
Subfamily:  Herbaceous
Genus:      Helichrysum
Species:     H. cymosum
Scientific name: Helichrysum cymosum
Common names:  Yellow-tipped straw-flower, Impepho

Helichrysum cymosum is a well-branched spreading subshrub up to 1 m tall. It has long greyish-white woolly branches which are densely leafy. They become pedunculoid upwards with large branched inflorescences with yellow bracts.
The leaves are short, prominently veined and are generally elliptic-oblong to linear-oblong with acute tips, the upper surface covered with paper-like indumentum. H. cymosum can be recognized by its cylindric heads with canary-yellow bracts, and its leaf shape and indumentum. Flowering occurs over the summer months.
Helichrysum cymosum grows in big straggling clumps, often in moist places, such as hollows between the coastal dunes, in shrub communities.
The origin of the name helichrysum is from the Greek words helios 'sun' and chrysos 'gold', referring to the colour of the flowers.

Helichrysum cymosum growing sand dunes near Greymouth, South Island.