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


Helichrysum petiolare (Licorice plant)

Kingdom:   Plantae\
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Asterids
Order:       Asterales
Family:      Asteraceae
Genus:      Helichrysum
Species:     H. petiolare
Binomial name: Helichrysum petiolare
Common names: Limelight licorice plant, Dwarf licorice plant, Trailing licorice, Licorice plant, Hottentot tea.  

Helichrysum petiolare is a native plant of South Africa, but the species has become naturalized in many countries. In New Zealand this species is registered as a weed. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has concerns with Helichrysum petiolare on the Chatham Islands as it has expanded into nearby indigenous habitats displacing native plants. It is also monitored by Biosecurity New Zealand in the Chatham Is. It reproduces by seed and vegetatively from stem fragments and can grow to form dense stands that crowd out native plants.
It is an herbaceous perennial, a trailing or mound-forming evergreen shrub growing to 50 cm tall by 2 m or more, with woolly grey-green heart shaped leaves and dull white flowerheads in late summer is a perennial mound-forming shrubs.

An escapee plant smothering a bank on the Te Henui Stream side.


A heavy infestation of Helichrysum petiolare at Mokau North Taranaki. Photographed November







Closeup of a leaf.


The under surface of the leaves.