Helichrysum petiolare / H. odoratissimum
English : Everlastings
Description and diagnostic features
They are grey hairy plants. The species H. nudifolium is hairless.
The flowers of this genus form small compound flowers.
The everlasting flowers
H. petiolare has clear petioles holding the leaves away from the twigs.
In H. odoratissimum is more aromatic when fresh but as the plants start drying out after being harvested the aroma can no longer be contained and dissipates.
The plants are very rich in aromatic compounds. I was told by people who do chemical analysis that these plants contain more different chemicals than any other plant they have tested.
Leaves and thin twigs.
Never use more than 2 cups of tea a day else the pelvic girdle becomes so relaxed that picking up something heavy can cause a dislocation of the back.
When burning or rather smouldering the leaves to evaporate the aromatic oils it is never good to blow at them. That is disrespectful. Rather wave the smouldering leaves around.
They grow all over the southern and western and eastern cape. H petiolare is rampant in the Knysna forest.
It spreads abundantly from seed. It needs a fair amount of moisture to survive.