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A compact evergreen shrub growing to about 3 ft high, spreading by underground stems. Leaves silvery grey, borne in dense clusters near the ends of the branches, linear, three-toothed at the apex, stem-clasping at the base; veins parallel and impressed on the upper surface; margins involute; in cultivated specimens they are up to 1 in. long and 3⁄5 in. wide. Flower-heads canary-yellow, about 1 in. wide, with numerous ray-florets, produced in May from the axils of the uppermost leaves on scapes 1 to 2 in. long. Achenes woolly.
Native of the Drakensberg Mountains of Natal and Basutoland, discovered in the Cleft Peak area at 9,800 ft and first described in 1961; it had been introduced earlier by R. B. Purves of Evesham, Worcestershire, and was given an Award of Merit when shown by him at Chelsea on 20th May 1952. This plant was at first considered to be E. evansii Schlechter.
This delightful shrublet has proved quite hardy and easy to establish so long as it is given a sunny position in a gritty, well-drained soil. A Cultural Commendation was given to Miss Finnis of the Waterperry Horticultural School, Oxfordshire, for a plant lifted from the open ground and shown at Chelsea in 1959. It was replanted a week later and continued to thrive. This plant is figured in colour in Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 89, Oct. 1964, fig. 163.
The true E. evansii Schlechter is found in the same region as E. acraeus and is closely allied to it, but makes a more robust plant often with much larger leaves.