Helichrysum thianschanicum

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Helichrysum thianschanicum
Starr 080117-2066 Helichrysum thianschanicum.jpg
Helichrysum thianschanicum 'Icicles'
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Supertribe: Asterodae
Tribe: Gnaphalieae
Genus: Helichrysum
H. thianschanicum
Binomial name
Helichrysum thianschanicum
  • Helichrysum arenarium var. kokanicum Regel & Schmalh.
  • Helichrysum kokanicum (Regel & Schmalh.) Krasch. & Gontsch.
  • Helichrysum thianschanicum var. aureum O. Fedtsch. & B. Fedtsch.[1]

Helichrysum thianschanicum is a member of the sunflower family, Asteraceae. It is commonly known as silver spike or icicle plant.[2] It is part of a large genus of over 500 species.[3]


H. thianschanicum is a small perennial shrub that grows 2 ft (61 cm) tall and wide. It resembles a lavender plant with basal branching and erect stems and is covered with 2 in (5 cm) long linear leaves that are covered with white pubescence. Yellow clusters of flowers are produced at the ends of stems during the summer. Up to 30 yellow, 13 in (8 mm) florets are in each cluster. In its native habitat, H. thianschanicum develops a finger-sized rhizome.[2]


H. thianschanicum was first described in 1880 by Eduard August von Regel.[1] The specific epithet refers to the Tian Shan mountain range of Central Asia.[2]


H. thianschanicum grows on gravelly slopes and sand dunes in its native range of western China (Xinjiang) and adjacent Kazakhstan.[2]



H. thianschanicum 'Icicles' is a cultivar commonly grown in the United States for its foliage. During the summer, yellow flowers are produced at the ends of the stems and are composed of up to 30 florets. They are not spectacular but do accent the gray-white foliage. H. thianschanicum is a perennial that originates from a mountain range with hot dry summers and cold dry winters and is difficult to grow in wetter climates. 'Icicles' is usually grown as an annual plant in gardens. It seems resistant to most insect problems.[2]

Helichrysum thianschanicum 'Icicles' flowers
Helichrysum thianschanicum 'Icicles' foliage


  1. ^ a b "Helichrysum thianschanicum Regel". Tropicos. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Klingaman, Gerald. "Silver Spike - Plant of the Week". U of A Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "Results". The Plant List. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  • Regel, Eduard August von. Trudy Imperatorskago S.-Peterburgskago Botaničeskago Sada 6(2): 307. 1880.

External links[edit]