Plant: This small, rounded, soft aromatic shrublet has grey foliage with strongly honey-scented summer flowers. The top of the leaves are grey, covered with small soft hairs, while the underneath and stems are densely covered with white woolly hairs. Its fragrant flowers attract pollinating insects especially bees. It grows on sandy flats and coastal dunes and inland on south-facing, lower mountain slopes of the southern Western Cape. Its yellow flowers are common to all Helichrysums hence their name derived from the Greek Helios (sun) Chrysos (gold). The species' Latin name patulum means ‘spreading’ or ‘wide open’ referring to its growth habit.
Uses: It is traditionally used for asthma, bladder infections, gynaecological disorders, backache, fatigue, stress hypertension, cardiac problems and influenza. While its strongly aromatic leaves can be used to keep insects and parasites away.
Quirky Indigenous Uses:
Smoke inhaled for headaches and to get rid of evil spirits