Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea), also known as Western Pearly Everlasting, is a perennial forb of the Aster Family (Asteraceae),and order Asterales. The genus name is from the Greek name of a similar plant. The species name is from the Latin for "pearl" (margarita).

The flowers of the Pearly Everlasting are yellow disk flowers surrounded by white bracts. These parts form a globular head about ⅜ of an inch (one centimeter) wide. A cultivated variety of this wildflower has white disk flowers and is used in flower arrangements. The flowers form flat clusters on the tops of  whitish, wooly stems. This plant can grow to a height of three feet (90 centimeters). They bloom from July to September.

The leaves are linear, alternate, entire, stalkless and grow to about five inches (13 centimeters) long. These leaves are light green above with white wool on the underside.

The fruit is a tiny seed connected to a pappus. A pappus is a collection of thin hairs that allow the seed to be carried some distance by the wind. One pound (0.45 kilograms) of these seeds would be 8,200,000 seeds.

The roots are simple.

This plant prefers relatively dry, open areas like roadsides and pastures. It is nontoxic to animals but has little food value.

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