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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Tribe: Helenieae

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid II > Family: Asteraceae

One genus and two species are native to southern Africa, with an additional four genera and nine species naturalised and another genus and species cultivated.

Genera native to southern Africa

(based on Herman et al. 2000)


There are seven species, native to tropical Africa with two species, Hypericophyllum elatum and Hypericophyllum compositarum (recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, see Flora of Zimbabwe), extending into the Northern Province of South Africa.


Genera naturalised in southern Africa

(based on Herman et al. 2000)


The 21 species are native to Central and South America, Mexico and Australia. Flaveria bidentis and Flaveria trinervia (recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, see Flora of Zimbabwe) have been introduced to southern Africa where they have become widespread weeds.



The 28 species are endemic to North and South America. Gaillardia aristata and Gaillardia pulchella have become naturalised in southern Africa.


The six species are native to North and South America. Schkuhria pinnata is an introduced weed to southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.



About 50 species, native to North and South America. Three species are naturalised in southern Africa.


Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002). The species name is provided in genera that have only one species represented in southern Africa.  

Helenium autumnale

Native to North America.



  • Herman, P.P.J., Retief, E., Koekemoer, M. & Welman, W.G. 2000. Asteraceae (Compositae). In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 101-170. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

  • Karis, P.O. & Ryding, O. 1994. Tribes Helenieae and Heliantheae. In: Asteraceae, Cladistics & Classification (ed. K. Bremer). Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, pp. 521-624.