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Ozothamnus selago Hook. f.

Modern name

Helichrysum × selago (Hook.f.) Benth. & Hook.f. ex Kirk


Helichrysum selago (Hook. f.) Kirk

An evergreen shrub much branched and 6 to 15 in. high; young branchlets arching or pendulous, about 112 in. thick, with a cypress-like appearance due to the leaves being closely appressed to the stem. Leaves overlapping, ovate to triangular, 110 to 18 in. long, pointed or bluntish, dark polished green and convex outside, covered inside with a white wool which shows slightly at the edges and at the base of the leaves. With age they become markedly keeled or ridged at the back. Flower-heads produced singly at the end of the shoot, stalkless, the chief feature being the bracts of the involucre which are linear-oblong, 316 in. long, dull white or yellowish, and with membranous tips.

Native of New Zealand, where it occurs in mountainous districts of the South Island up to 4,500 ft altitude. Its chief claim to notice is in its curious cypress-like growth and the outlining of each leaf when young with a thin fringe of white wool escaped from the otherwise hidden inner surface. The description above is made from a plant that has grown for almost half-a-century on the rock garden at Wakehurst Place in Sussex. The species is, however, variable. The New Zealand specimens preserved at Kew show that. One of them has shoots fully 316 in.thick and they vary also in the amount of wool they display.

O. glomeratus (Raoul) Hook. f. Helichrysum glomeratum (Raoul) Kirk – A curious evergreen shrub up to 8 ft high, with long, slender, thong-like shoots covered with white down, and sparse roundish leaves 1 to 114 in. long, also covered with white down beneath. Flower-heads in small, short-stalked, axillary or terminal, globose clusters, 12 in. across. Native of New Zealand. It is of little merit and tender.



Other species in the genus