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Everlasting daisy Helichrysum chionoides

Helichrysum chionoides is a species from the group known as the "everlasting daisies" due to their long lasting flower heads, and because of this they are often used in dried flower arrangements.

There are many species of the genus Helichrysum found in the mountains of East Africa, however, Helichrysum chionoides is only found on Mount Kenya and the Aberdares Mountains in Kenya, and Mount Loolmalssin in Tanzania at high altitudes from 2800-3850 m above sea level. 
 
Helichrysum chionoides is a large shrub with soft, hairy leaves. The “flowers” (actually an inflorescence of many small flowers) have a yellow centre surrounded by lots of bright white bracts. The seeds are tiny with a small plume of hairs at the top to help with wind dispersal. 
 
The species has adapted to survive in mountain environments where high UV radiation can be damaging to the plants. The dense hairs on the leaves help prevent water loss whilst the shiny white bracts around the flowers reflects the intense sunlight.
 
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