A large Old World genus of herbs and a few shrubs, mostly in Africa and Australia, popularly known as ‘everlastings’. Involucral bracts dry, papery, often brightly coloured; flower-heads with outer female and inner bisexual florets; receptacle without scales.
In addition to the African species described below there are in cultivation a number of perennial helichrysums from the Mediterranean region, grown for their grey or silvery foliage, but these are scarcely shrubby enough to fall within the scope of this work. Many of these belong to the variable H. italicum (Roth) G. Don.
The shrubby section Ozothamnus of Australia and New Zealand is here treated as a distinct genus, for which see Ozothamnus in Vol. III.
Revised with the assistance of Mr C. Jeffrey of the Kew Herbarium.