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Family Asteraceae
Xerochrysum bracteatum (Vent.) Tzvelev


Scientific names  Common names
Aphelexis spectabilis Hereman Bracted strawflower (Engl.)

Bracteantha bracteata (Vent,) Anderb. & Haegi

Everlasting (Engl.)
Gnaphalium acuminatum Link Everlasting daisy (Engl.)
Gnaphalium banksii Sch.Bip. Golden everlasting (Eng.)
Gnaphalium Chrysanthum Sch.Bip. Paper daisy (Engl.)
Gnaphalium glabratum Sch.Bip. Paper flower (Engl.)
Gnaphalium macranthum Sch.Bip. Straw daisy (Engl.)
Gnaphalium macrocephalum Sch.Bip. Strawflower (Engl.)
Gnaphalium papillosum Poir.  
Helichrysum acuminatum (Link) Sweet  
Helichrysum banksii A,Cunn ex DC.  
Helichrysum bracteatum Andrews  
Helichrysum chrysanthum Pers.  
Helichrysum compositum Anon.  
Helichrysum glabratum DC.  
Helichrysum lucidum Spreng.  
Helichrysum macrocephalum A,Cunn ex DC.  
Helichrysum monstruosum Anon.  
Helichrysum niveum Grahamn=  
Xeranthemum bracteatum Vent.  
Xeranthemum lucidum (Spreng.) Maund  
Xerochrysum bracteatum (Vent,) Tzekev us ab accepted name. KEW / Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
DANISH: Kaempeevighedsblomst.
GERMAN: Garten-strohblume.
PORTUGUESE: Flor de palha, Sempre-viva.
SPANISH: Flor de paja.
19th-CENTURY EUROPE: Immortelle.

Gen info
- Etymology: Species name bracteatum derives from Latin referring to the papery bracts of the flower heads, which are mistakenly called petals. Xerochrysum is derived from Greek words xeros meaning dry, and chrysum meaning golden. (20)
- Taxonomy: The golden everlasting was described by French botanist Etienne Pierre Ventenat in his 1803 work Jardin de Malmaison. In 1805 Henry Cranke Andrews transferred it to the genus Helichrysum based on the morphology of its receptacle, and was known as Helichrysum bracteatum for many years. It was briefly designated as Bracteantha bracteata in 1991, until 2002 when it took the name Xerochrysum bracteatum. (20)

Everlasting is a stout annual herb growing to a height of 30 to 60 centimeters , with terete and sparingly branched stems. Leaves are alternate, oblong-lanceolate, with entire margins, and narrowed at the base. Blade is green on both sides. Flower head is terminal, up to 6 centimeters across, golden yellow, pink, orange to ivory white, enclosed by strawlike imbricated bracts of varying colors of red, yellow, brown and white.

- Introduced.
- Thrives best in the high altitudes, i.e., Baguio and Tagaytay.

- Native range: Australasia and New Zealand.

• Reported to yield lignins and aurones.
• Studies have yielded flavonoids with a predominance of apigenin and luteolin along with 7-glucoside.
• Study yielded four flavones and five flavanols. (See Studies below)
• Ethanol extract of flowers yielded eleven compounds: subscandenin (1), prunin(2), eriodictyol 5-O-ß-D-glucopyranoside (3), pyracanthoside (4), quercetin (5), luteolin (6), chrysocriol (7), isoorientin (8), caffeic acid(9), piperitol (10) and 4-hydroxymethyl-l-methoxycarbonylazulene (11). (4)

• Study of anthocyanins in the flower petals yielded a pure anthocyanin chloride, cyanin glucoside. (6)
• Study of flowers (golden yellow, pink, ivory white) yielded polyphenolic compounds: luteolin (GY, P, IW), bractein (GY, P), cernuoside (GY, P), caffeic acid (GY, P, IW), iso-orientin (P), luteolin-7-O-glucoside (IW).
• Study of golden yellow flowers yielded four compounds, a flavone, two aurone glycosides and a phenylpropanoic acid, characterized as: luteolin, bractein, cernuoside, and E-caffeic acid. Pink flowers yielded an additional flavone glycoside, iso-orientin. Ivory white flowers were devoid of aurones but yielded luteolin, two glycosides (luteolin-7-O-glucoside) and iso-orientin. (9)
• Study on anthocyanin in purple flower of H. bracteatum yielded a pure anthocyanin chloride crystal. (10)
• Study for phenol carboxylic acids in the flowers and herb of immortelle (Helichrysum bracteatum) yielded gallic, hydroxyphenylacetic, coffeic, coumaric, ferulic, synapic, cinnamic, and quinic acids. (11)
• Study of fllowers yielded two flavonoids: 6,3',4',5'-tetrahydroxy-4-O-ß-D-glucopyranosylaurone (bractein) and 6;3',4'-trihydroxy-4-O-ß-D-glucopyranosylaurone (cernuoside). (see study below) (14)
• Study of anthocyanins in the petals of H. bracteatum flower with deep purple color obtained a pure anthocyanin chloride crystal, identified as a cyanin glucoside by IR, UV, and MS techniques. (15)

• Considered anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antitussive, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, fungicidal, cicatrisant, liver stimulant.
• Studies have suggested hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anticancer, antiviral, acaricidal properties.

Parts used
Flowers, aerial parts.

- No reported folkloric use in the Philippines.
- Plant used for wound dressing.

• Decorative: A favorite decorative or altar flower, as it lasts indefinitely when dried.
• Repellent: Scentless when fresh, but said to repel moths when dried.

• Oil: Oil used to flavor tobacco and as fixative in perfume and cosmetics.

Gamma-pyrone: A 2007 study yielded a new gamma- pyrone, sterols and triterpenes from H. bracteatum. Of seven compounds isolated, 4 were from aerial parts, 3 from flowers. Gamma-pyrone compounds were considered potential anti-cancer drugs. (1)
Anti-Inflammatory / Hepatoprotective:
Study yielded four flavones, five flavonols, six caffeoyl derivatives of quinic acid from the flowers and aerial parts of Helichrysum bracteatum. The flavonol bractein was the most potent anti-inflammatory and antipyretic and the flavonol 3,5-dicaffreoylquinic acid was the most potent analgesic. The flowers showed significant hepatoprotective effect. (3)
Acaricidal / Leaves:
Study evaluated the acaricidal activity of Helichrysum bracteatum and Salvia officinalis against Tetranycus urticae and its predator Stethorus gilvifrons adult females in measures of egg laying capacity, repellent and oviposition deterrent effects.
H. bracteatum 70% ethanol leaf extract showed highest acaricidal activity with LC50 1.27%. Both extracts showed potent ovicidal effect. GC-MS analysis revealed phytol to be the major component of the Hb extract. Results confirmed potent acaricidal effect of both leaf extracts against T. urticae (12)
Anti-Inflammatory / Effect on UVB-Irradiation Induced Inflammatory Biomarkers / Flowers: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of flower extracts in vitro. The DPPH assay showed the flower extracts have good antioxidative effects and inhibited the expression of inflammation-related genes TNF-α, IL-6, and COX-2. The production of NO and TNF-α was inhibited by the flower extracts. Results showed the flower extracts have efficacy against UVB-induced inflammation-related gene expression. (13)
Natural Dyes / Antimicrobial / / Flowers: Study evaluated Helichrysum bracteatum flowers as a plant source for dyeing textile materials. Two major flavonoids were isolated: bractein and cernuoside. Various intensities of color shades for fabrics and acceptable fastness properties were obtained. Samples showed remarkable antimicrobial activity against E. coli, P. vulgaris, and S. typhi, with linear increase in zone of inhibition with increasing concentrations. (see constituents above) (14)
Y-Pyrone / Mild Anticancer and Anti-Viral Activity / Aerial Parts: Study of aerial parts isolated a new Y-pyrone, 3-ethyl-6-(7'-hydroxy-7'-methyl-nonyl)-2-methoxy-5-methyl-pyran-4-one (helichrysone) (3), along with α-amyrin, stigmasterol, spinasterol, oleanolic acid, and glycoside 4 and 7. Compound 3 showed mild activity against cervix and breast cancer cell lines in vitro as well as mild anti-HIV activity. (16)
Carbohydrates / Sugar Content / Flowers: Chromatographic study for qualitative composition and sugar contents of H. bracteatum flowers yielded 12 sugars among bound carbohydrates and 13 compounds among the free. Significant amounts of sugars were found in flowers among specific monosaccharides glucose, fucose, and sucrose; in the herb, xylose, glucose, and sucrose. Study indicates a rather diverse and rich content of sugars in herbal drugs of immortelle. (17)
Hispidulin / Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Flowers: Study isolated hispiludin (6-methoxy-5,7,4'-trihydroxy flavone from the flowers of Helichrysum bracteatum. It showed 50% inhibition on inflammation in carrageenan induced hind paw edema. Analgesic activity was evaluated using hot plate and tail clip method. (18)
Volatile Compounds / Herb and Flowers: Study evaluated the composition of volatile compounds of immortelle herb and flowers. Inert chromatography-mass spectrometry identified 26 volatile compounds from the herb and 39 compounds from the flowers. Main volatile compounds in the herb were n-hexadecanoic acid (44.48%), phytol (13.71%), 9,12-ixtadecanoic acid (11.21%) and decamethyltetrasiloxane (8.55%). Main volatile compounds in the flowers were n-hexadecanoic acid (43.83%), 9,12 oxtadecanoic acid (19.52%), the methyl ester of7,10,13-hexadecatrienoic acid (8.85%), and tetradecanoic acid (6.,10%). (19)

- Wild-crafted.
- Ornamental cultivation.

Updated September 2021 / October 2016

Photos (Dried Flowers) © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Phote: Garden / Helichrysum bracteatum / © Bedding Plants / Click on photo to go to source page / Auburn University

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
PHCOG MAG.: Research Article: A new ?-pyrone, sterols and triterpenes from Helichrysum
bracteatum, Gazania nivea and Dimorphotheca ecklonis

Phcog Mag. Vol 3, Issue 12, Oct-Dec, 2007
Caffeoyl Derivatives and Flavonoids from Three Compositae Species
Phcog Mag. Vol 4, Issue 13, Jan - Mar, 2008
Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Hispudulin isolated from Helichrysum bracteatum
S. Kaviman, V. M. Mounissamy, and R. Gunasegaran / Indian Drugs. 37: 582-584 (2000).

Chemical Constituents of the Flowers of Helichrysum bracteatum / Liu Hai-yang; He Hong-ping; Yang Xian-wen; Chen Mu-wei; Hao Xiao-jiang / Natural Product Research & Development, Jun2007, Vol. 19 Issue 3, p 423
Xenochrysum bracteatum bracteatum (Vent.) Tzelev. / KEW / Plants of the World Online
Studies on Anthocyanin in Purple Flower of Helichrysum bracteatum / Uang Shaoyong, Wu Dixin, Bi Wangfu, Cao Yuying / Journal of Beijing Forestry University, 1992.
Polyphenolic components of flowers of Helichrysum bracteatum / Current Science, Vol 69, No 1, July 10, 1995
Polyphenoic components of flowers of Helichrysum bracteatum / Chapter II
Poyphenolic Components of Flowers of Helichrysum bracteatum / Chapter 2 / Shodhganga
Studies on Anthocyanin in Purple Flower of Helichrysum bracteatum / Yang Shaoyong , Wu Dixin , Bi Wangfu , Cao Yuying / Journal of Beijing Forestry University,1992, 14:70-79
Phenol carboxylic acids of the immortelle (Helichrysu, bracteatum) / Moskalenko A M /
Acaricidal Activity and Chemical Characterization of Helichrysum bracteatum and Salvia officinalis Leaf Extracts Against Tetranychus urticae and Its Predator, Stethorus gilvifrons (Coccinellidae) / Manal S Ismail, Nesrin A El Bashar, Said A Allam / Journal of the Egyptian Society of Acarology, Autumn 2018; 12(1) Art 10: pp 65-73 / DOI: 10.21608/ajesa.2008.164300
Effects of Helichrysum bracteatum flower extracts on UVB-irradiation-induced inflammatory biomarkkker expression / Yun Jeong Kim, Ji Hyun Seok, Waiting Cheuung, Sung-Nae Lee, Hyun Hee Jang, Seunghee Bae, Hyunsang Lee / Biomedical Dermamtology, 2019; 3(Art9) / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s41702-019-0049-8
Investigation on eco-friendly natural dyes: cheistry, dyeing, and antimicrobial properties of Helichrysum bracteatum / R Sivakumar, R Jayaprakasam, V Renuga, C Sasikumar / Asian Journal of Chemistry, 2009; 21(8): pp 5960-5966 / ISSN: 0970-7077 / Record No 84320093257
Studies on Anthocyanin in Purple Flower of Helichrysum bracteatum / Yang Shaoyong, Wu Dixin, Bi Wangfu, Cao Yuying / Journal of Beijing Forestry University, 1992; 14: pp 70-79
A new Y-pyrone, sterols, and triterpenes from Helichrysum bracteatum, Gazania nivea and Dimorphotheca ecklonis / Mohamed Soliman, Fathy; Hassan Shehata, Alaf; El-Sayed Khaleel, Amal; Ezzat, Shahira / MSAR, 3(12)
Study of the immortelle carbohydrates (Helichrysum bracteatum) / A M Moskalenko, N V Popova / Ukranian Biopharmmaceutical Journal, 2018; 3(56) / DOI: https://doi.org/10.24959/ubphj.18.177
Analgesic and antiinflammatory activities of hispidulin isolated from Helichrysum bracteatum / S Kavinami, V M Mounissamy, R Gunasegaran / Indian Drugs, 37(12): pp 582-584
The study of volatile compounds of the raw material of immortelle (Helichrysum bracteatum) / A Moskalenko, N Popova / Ukranian Biopharmaceutical Journal, 2020; 4(65) / DOI: https://doi.org/10.24959/ubphj.20.288
Xerochrysum bracteatum / Wikipedia

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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