Pearly Everlasting Anaphalis margaritacea
Species Profile by Wendy Aeschliman
Common Name(s): Pearly Everlasting
Scientific Name: Anaphalis margaritacea (margaritacea means “pearly” in Greek).
General Info: Pearly Everlasting is a rhizomatous perennial growing to 2 feet high, with woolly, silvery green, usually unbranched flower stems. It dies to its roots each winter and springs to life in the spring. Some call it a weed but we hope more of us will now call it “intentionally supported and propagated ”!
Native/ Non-native: Native throughout most of the US.
Ecology: Widespread and locally common in its habitats: forest openings, roadcuts, meadows, fields, disturbed sites.
Light: Sun to partial sun
Leaves: Narrow, lance shaped leaves, generally on the main stem. Conspicuous vein down the middle. Greenish on top, white woolly on bottom. Basal leaves are deciduous.
Flowers: Dense, flat topped white flowers, conspicuous and long lasting, June through September. Small (1 cm) composite heads with yellow disk flowers, no ray flowers. The pearly white, papery, translucent bracts look like petals.
Fruits: Very small achenes (one seeded fruit like the sunflower or dandelion, (pronounced A keen’.) Like the dandelion, the seeds blow away in the wind after drying.
Landscape uses: A showy and delightful addition to the garden, tolerating dry conditions and poorer soils. But, will also adapt to moist conditions! Propagation through dividing of roots, or by seed. Ease of care: Easy!
Uses: Flowers are used in dried flower arrangements. For longer lasting flowers, pick before the yellow centers fade.
Notes: Deer resistant(!) (What more can you ask for?)Resources:
Field Guide to Forest Plants of Northern Idaho (Patterson, Neiman, Tonn), 1985 USDA – Forest Service
Plants of Southern Interior British Colombia and the Inland Northwest (Parish, Coupé, Lloyd), 1996
Wild Wildflowers of the West (Kinucan, Brons), 1991
Photos by Wendy Aeschlliman