Cape Gold Helichrysum splendidum

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care


Helichrysum splendidum, also known as the woolly sunflower, is a distinctive and visually striking plant. It is immediately recognizable by its silvery-gray or white leaves, which have a soft and woolly texture, giving the plant an overall downy appearance. These leaves are typically lance-shaped, elongated, and slightly curved, often clasping around the stems. The plant features dense clusters of small, bright yellow flowers that resemble daisy-like blooms. These flowers are arranged in a flat-topped cluster known as a corymb, which forms a striking contrast against the silvery foliage. Each individual flower is composed of numerous tiny, tubular florets that are neatly packed together to form a circular, compact head. The overall impression is one of long-lasting brightness, due to the flowers' ability to retain their color even after they have dried. The plant's stems are sturdy and branching, covered with the same silvery hairs as the leaves, which contribute to its splendid overall appearance, hence the name. The woolly sunflower exudes a sense of hardiness and resilience and is often seen adding a touch of luminous silver and golden hues to the landscapes in which it thrives, bringing a distinctive brightness and texture to gardens and natural settings alike.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Cape Gold, Woolly Sunbonnet, Shining Everlasting

    • Common names

      Gnaphalium splendidum, Helichrysum angustifolium subsp. splendidum, Helichrysum rosum, Xeranthemum splendidum.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Helichrysum splendidum, commonly known as the common everlasting, is not typically known to be toxic to humans. There is limited information regarding any toxic components or properties of this particular plant. As with any plant, sensitive individuals might experience mild reactions if they have specific allergies, so it is generally advised to be cautious if you are not familiar with the plant. However, there are no well-documented cases or symptoms of poisoning provided for common everlasting due to ingestion by humans as of my knowledge cutoff date.

    • To pets

      Common everlasting is not typically recognized as a toxic plant for pets either. The lack of reported toxicity means that, in general, it might not pose a significant risk if accidentally ingested by pets such as cats, dogs, or other domestic animals. As with any non-food plant, ingestion of common everlasting could potentially cause mild gastrointestinal upset due to the novelty and fibrous nature of the plant material. Pets, especially those with curious appetites, should still be monitored to prevent any potential digestive issues or unexpected reactions.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet [0.91 meters]

    • Spread

      3 feet [0.91 meters]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal - Helichrysum splendidum, commonly known as 'Everlasting flower', adds beauty to gardens with its silver-green foliage and bright yellow flowers.
    • Drought Resistance - It is well adapted to arid climates, requiring minimal water once established.
    • Low Maintenance - This plant is known for being easy to care for, with minimal pruning or fertilizing needed.
    • Pest Resistance - The Everlasting flower is generally resistant to many common garden pests, decreasing the need for chemical treatments.
    • Native Wildlife Support - It serves as a source of nectar for pollinators like bees and butterflies, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Erosion Control - The plant's root system can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Helichrysum splendidum contains compounds that may reduce inflammation, making it potentially useful for treating conditions characterized by inflammation.
    • Antimicrobial: The plant has been found to possess antimicrobial properties against certain bacteria and fungi, suggesting its use in preventing or treating infections.
    • Antioxidant: It contains antioxidants which are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals.
    • Wound healing: Some sources suggest that it may promote healing of wounds and bruises, possibly due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.
    • Antiviral: There is some evidence to suggest that Helichrysum splendidum may have antiviral properties, although more research is needed to confirm this.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Dye Production: Helichrysum splendidum's flowers can be used to create a natural yellow dye for textiles.
    • Natural Insect Repellent: The plant can be used to repel insects due to its aromatic properties.
    • Companion Planting: Gardeners plant Helichrysum splendidum alongside vegetables as it may help deter certain pests.
    • Embalming: Historically, the flowers were used in the embalming process due to their long-lasting nature when dried.
    • Floral Arrangements: The flowers are often used in dried flower arrangements, retaining color and shape for extended periods.
    • Landscape Design: It's a popular choice for xeriscaping due to its drought tolerance and aesthetic appeal.
    • Perfumery: Helichrysum splendidum's essential oil is occasionally used in perfumery for its unique, warm scent.
    • Art and Craft: Dried flowers are used in potpourri, wreaths, or other craft projects for decorative purposes.
    • Eco-friendly Confetti: Dried petals can be a biodegradable alternative to traditional confetti at events.
    • Handicraft Preservation: Dried flowers may be used in the preservation of handicrafts, such as between the pages of hand-bound books.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Cape Gold is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Cape Gold is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Endurance and Resilience: Helichrysum splendidum, commonly known as the Cape Gold, is known for its ability to thrive in tough conditions and symbolizes strength and the ability to endure life's challenges.
    • Everlasting Life: With flowers that don't easily fade when dried, Cape Gold represents eternity and everlasting existence, echoing the way it retains its shape and color when dried.
    • Healing and Regeneration: Due to its medicinal properties, Cape Gold is often associated with healing and the body's ability to regenerate, making it a symbol for recovery and new beginnings.
    • Protection: The plant has a history of being used in traditional remedies for protection against diseases and negative energies, thus symbolizing safety and well-being.
    • Beauty and Splendor: Its bright, sunny flowers bring light and beauty to gardens and homes, symbolizing the splendor of nature and the joy it can bring into lives.

Every 2 weeks
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Cape Gold should be watered moderately, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it's essential to ensure good drainage. Typically, watering once every seven to ten days is sufficient, varying based on the ambient temperature and humidity. When watering, use about half a gallon for a medium-sized plant, ensuring the water penetrates the soil deeply without leaving the plant in standing water. During the winter months, reduce the frequency as the plant's water needs decrease.

  • sunLight

    The Cape Gold requires full sun to partial shade for optimal growth. This plant thrives in bright light, so a south or west-facing spot where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight per day is ideal. Insufficient light can lead to lackluster flowering and leggy growth, so choose the plant's location carefully.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Cape Gold prefers moderate to warm conditions and is quite heat tolerant. It can survive temperatures as low as 30°F but thrives best in a range between 60°F and 75°F. Protecting the plant from frost is vital to prevent damage to the foliage and stems.

  • scissorsPruning

    The Cape Gold should be pruned to maintain shape and promote bushier growth. Deadheading spent flowers encourages further blooming. Pruning should be done in the early spring to remove any dead or damaged stems and to shape the plant. It's not necessary to prune frequently; once a year is typically sufficient.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the Cape Gold (common name for Helichrysum splendidum) consists of well-draining sandy or loamy soil enriched with organic matter. A slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.0 and 7.5 is ideal for the Cape Gold.

  • plantRepotting

    Cape Gold should be repotted every 2-3 years to replenish nutrients and accommodate root growth. Perform repotting in the spring or early summer, during the plant's active growing period.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Cape Gold prefers moderate to low humidity levels, making it suitable for typical indoor environments without the need for additional humidity adjustments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Cape Gold in bright, indirect light and keep soil well-drained.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Cape Gold in full sun with well-draining soil and space them adequately.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Helichrysum splendidum, commonly known as the Cape Gold plant, begins its life cycle as a seed, which germinates in well-draining soil during spring or early summer when temperatures are suitable. After germination, the seedling emerges and establishes a root system, while developing its first set of true leaves. As it matures into a young plant, Helichrysum splendidum experiences vegetative growth, producing a silver-grey foliage composed of dense, woolly leaves. This perennial grows into a bushy form, reaching flowering maturity in one to two years, at which point it produces clusters of small, yellow, daisy-like flowers typically during the summer months. Following pollination, seeds are set within the flower heads which, upon drying, are dispersed by wind or other means, thereby starting the next generation. The plant has a strong resilience to drought and can live for several years, during which it can undergo multiple flowering and seed-setting cycles.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Propogation: The most popular method for propagating Helichrysum splendidum, commonly known as splendid everlasting or woolly sunflower, involves taking semi-ripe stem cuttings during the warmer months, typically from late spring through summer. To propagate through cuttings, a portion of the stem approximately 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) long is cut just below a leaf node, the lower leaves are removed, and the base of the cutting is dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root growth. The prepared cuttings are then placed in a well-draining soil mixture, kept moist but not waterlogged, and covered with a plastic bag or placed in a propagator to maintain high humidity. Rooting can be expected to occur within a few weeks, after which the plastic can be gradually removed and the new plants can be further acclimatized before eventual planting out.