Cape Gold
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Cape Gold
ntroduced Shrub lanceshaped Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Cape gold
Botanical name: Helichrysum splendidum    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

The name Helichrysum is derived from Greek word Helios meaning sun and chrysos meaning gold, referring to the bright yellow colour of the flower heads. Cape Gold is indeed a splendid shrub with shining, silver-grey foliage and a mass of golden everlasting flowers in midsummer. A fast growing shrub, it can grow to 1.5 m x 1 m within 2 years, forming a dense grey mound. The stems are covered with a thick felt of woolly white hairs. The soft young leaves are also covered with grey woolly hairs. The leaves are aromatic with a slight camphor scent when rubbed.The compact flower heads at the tip of the stems are densely packed with small everlasting flowers. The tight buds of bright yellow papery bracts open slowly over several weeks to reveal the darker yellow flowers in the centres. The flowers have a slight sweet perfume. Cape Gold is found in Southern Africa.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Nainital

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