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Pearly Everlasting Anaphalis margaritacea


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Pearly Everlasting
credit: H. Zell/CCSA

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Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description A bushy, clump-forming, somewhat weedy plant bearing small white flowers.
Habit: native short-lived perennial herb; several wooly-white, unbranched, leafy stems, with silvery hairs; spreads by rhizome.
Height: 8-40 in (0.2-1 m)
Leaf: alternate, silver-gray, long, linear, pointed, stalkless, horizontal; wooly beneath, becoming smoother above; 1-6 in (3-15 cm) long, to 3/4 in (2 cm) wide.
Flower: small white button with yellow center, 3/8 in (1 cm) wide, held in dense, shapeless terminal cluster.

Flower July to October.

Flower July - October

Habitat Dry, sandy, open sites at low to subalpine elevations: rocky slopes, gravel pits, trails, dunes, open forests, clearings, fields, roadsides, disturbed sites; dry woods, often with aspen or mixed conifer-hardwood; also cultivated as an ornamental; to 10,500 ft (3200 m).

Range Native to North America; escaped from cultivation as an ornamental and now naturalized throughout the continent, except for the southeast U.S. from South Carolina to Florida, west to Oklahoma and Texas; also not reported in North Dakota.

Discussion Also known as: western pearlyeverlasting, wild mountain sage. The common name "pearly everlasting" refers to the plant's dry, papery flowers, which remain fresh-looking seemingly indefinitely. In the East, pearly everlasting was often used as a substitute for sage.

Comments Pearly everlasting's dry, straw-like bracts give the plant the appearance of blooming all summer and fall.

Exposure Preference Sun to partial sun.

Native Distribution Newfoundland. to Alaska, s. to Virginia, Iowa, the Black Hills, New Mexico & California

Site Preference Dry prairies; open woods; roadsides; waste places

Soil Preference Sandy or gravelly soils.