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About Helichrysum

These flowers are said to last forever

Dried flowers of the genus Helichrysum are said to last forever, hence they are also referred to as everlastings, immortals or sewejaartjies. There are about 600 species worldwide, and more than 240 occur in southern Africa. Growing up to 1m tall, this compact, much-branched shrublet has soft woody stems and branches and a thick covering of grey-woolly hairs that feels like felt. The densely crowded leaves are erect and narrowly oblong, usually about 5-8mm wide. Towards the branch tips, the leaves give way to narrow, dry bracts and finally to a solitary, conical flowerhead about 20mm wide. The Afrikaans common name for ‘everlasting flowers’ is ‘sewejaartjies’ which has two believed origins; the first referring to the fact that the cut flowers will last for a long time, and the other referring to the plants’ short life-span in the veld, known for disappearing after just seven years.

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