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Alpine Garden Society Plant Encyclopaedia
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Genus: Helichrysum

Helichrysum Species in
Family: Asteraceae

About 500 species of annuals, perennials, subshrubs, shrubs and small trees mainly from Europe, western Asia, Africa, southern India and Australia, only a comparatively few of which inhabit the cooler temperate climates. They are very variable in form and foliage, but the flowerheads (capitulas) always lack ray florets and are surrounded by chaffy-textured bracts which are sometimes coloured and resemble 'petals' (ray florets). Several species are known as everlastings because the flowerheads dry easily and retain their shape and colour.


Several of the smaller hardier species are already popular rock garden plants, e.g. H. bellidioides and H. milfordiae, and others are worthy of trial either outside or in the alpine house. In general they need well drained soil and sunny sheltered sites. They do well in raised beds and screes. Propagation by seed (not all self viable seed freely in cultivation) in spring and cuttings in late summer. Clump and mat-forming perennials may also be divided in spring.