From The Plant Encyclopedia
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- Cultivation: Naturalizing, Low-Maintenance, Easy-To-Grow
- Light: Sun
- Soil: Mid-Fertility
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Medium, Dry, Well-Drained
- Form: Herbaceous
- Flower: Large, White
- Fruit/Seed: Small
- Foliage: Leaves
- Uses: Ornamental, Craft, Industrial
Anaphalis is a genus within the composite family whose members are commonly known by the name Pearly everlasting. There are around 110 species within the genus with the vast majority being native to central and southern Asia. There is one species native to North America that is fairly well known and popular in cultivation, namely the Western Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea).
The name probably derives from the common practice of drying the flowers and stems for decorations through winter months. The Pearly everlasting was used extensively by Native Americans for a variety of medicinal purposes.
Two of the species, A. javanica and A. longifolia can be found on the mountain af the Java island in Indonesia. A. javanica, also known as the Javanese Edelweiss, is currently an endangered species.
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(!)