Helichrysum adenocarpum

Helichrysum 1 Hlichrysum 2

This week we’ll be looking at another member of the rather large Asteraceae (Daizy) family.

Helichrysum adenocarpum subsp. adenocarpum (Pink Strawflower in English, Pienksewejaartjie in Afrikaans and senkotoana in Sesotho) is a perennial herb, and occurs often in a reclining position, but may also be erect. The distributed is widespread from the Eastern Cape – Zim. This everlasting species is found in grassveld regions in close proximity to, or on moist slopes. It is a hardy species, as it tolerates both frost and drought and grows even at altitudes as high as 3000m A.S.L.

The specimen photographed was observed along the margins of the Porcupine trail, and was made even more eye-catching by the general dearth of other flowering plants in the vicinity in comparison to the almost iridescent pink-white sepals of this wildflower.

The flowers of H. adenocarpum subsp. adenocarpum occur as solitary flowerheads, appearing as glossy pink orbs atop grey-green and wooly flowering stalks of between 40-450mm in length. The leaves of this species are rounded and semi-cylindrical, measuring 30X20mm. The flowerheads (25-35mm when open) appear almost glossy pink-white under bright sunlight. Additional flowering stems may arise from the side of existing flowerheads. Flowering usually takes place over a good 9 months of the year from January right through to September. Uses:

Medicinal

This attractive everlasting has reportedly been used in traditional medicines to treat diarrhoea as well as vomiting, and is more commonly used on children.

Gardening

This species makes for a great garden plant, on account of it being both hardy to the elements as well as being visually pleasing.

Conservation status

Helichrysum adenocarpum subsp. adenocarpum is listed as of Least Concern by SANBI.

 

Click here for more information on plants in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Click here for more information on the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

 

Damien1-100x100Article and photography by Damien Coulson

Head ranger: Clarens Village Nature Reserve