Helichrysum kirkii Oliv. & Hiern ex Oliv.
var. kirkii

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Helichrysum kirkii var. kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Entrance to Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

Helichrysum kirkii var. kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Entrance to Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

Helichrysum kirkii var. kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Entrance to Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Common names:
Status: Native
Perennial herb 0.3–1.2 m high; one to several erect stems from a vertical woody rhizome, simple or sparsely branched, pubescent to tomentose, densely leafy. Leaves green above, green or whitish beneath, sessile, linear to narrowly lanceolate, 1–5 cm long, 0.1–1 cm wide, base rounded to ± auriculate, margins revolute, apex acute and mucronate, thinly tomentose and glabrescent to scabrid and glandular above, white-tomentose to thin-pubescent beneath. Capitula 9–16 mm long, heterogamous, terminal, solitary or in few-headed cymes, but branching of stems may give rise to a large inflorescence; stalks of individual capitula 1–3 mm long; phyllaries multiseriate, shiny golden yellow; the outermost greenish-yellow or rarely reddish-pink-tinged, ovate to lanceolate, 2–13 mm long, acute, stereome pilose and glandular; receptacle honeycombed. Florets yellow or orange-yellow; outer florets few, in one or two rows, filiform from a wider base, tube 2.5–3.5 mm long, lobes 0.2–0.3 mm long, style 3–3.4 mm long; inner florets many, with tube cylindric, 3.1–4 mm long, lobes sparsely glandular, 0.4–0.5 mm long, anthers 2.3–2.4 mm long, style 4–4.7 mm long. Achenes cylindric, 0.6–1.1 mm long, glabrous; pappus yellowish, 3.5–4.5 mm long, caducous.
Notes: Both the size of capitula as well as the number of capitula in an inflorescence can be variable. This is also the case for the size of the leaves.
Derivation of specific name: kirkii : after Dr John Kirk, who accompanied David Livingstone on his Zambezi expedition of 1858
Habitat: In Brachystegia woodland and along wooded edges of montane grassland.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Kenya, Tanzania through Zambia, DRC and Angola south to Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Perennial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 4 August 2023

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 184 - 185. (Includes a picture).

Beentje, H. (2000). New taxa and new combinations in Helichrysum (Compositae: Inuleae) Kew Bulletin 55(2) Pages 362 - 364.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 97. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 54.

Other sources of information about Helichrysum kirkii var. kirkii:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Helichrysum kirkii var. kirkii
Flora of Zambia: Helichrysum kirkii var. kirkii

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Helichrysum kirkii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Helichrysum kirkii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Helichrysum kirkii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Helichrysum kirkii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Helichrysum kirkii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Helichrysum kirkii
JSTOR Plant Science: Helichrysum kirkii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Helichrysum kirkii
Plants of the World Online: Helichrysum kirkii
Tropicos: Helichrysum kirkii
Wikipedia: Helichrysum kirkii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Helichrysum kirkii var. kirkii.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=168550, retrieved 13 April 2024

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