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Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth.

Pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusAnaphalisFrom the Greek: ana, meaning “upwards, upon, high,” with a connotation of “increasing;” and phalos, “shining, white.”
SpeciesmargaritaceaFrom the Latin margarita, “a pearl,” hence pertaining to pearls, pearly

About plant names...

Pearly everlasting is a native of North America, northeastern Asia, and northern and eastern Europe. It prefers dry, sandy soil.

Plants: 18-36" (45-91 cm) in height, with whitish stems, topped with dense corymbs of tiny white flowers.

Leaves: Grayish green, lanceolate, 3-4½" (7.5-12 cm) in length, but only ⅛" (3.2 mm) wide, with sharp tips. They have tiny hairs on the undersides, with a fuzzy feeling.

Flowers: A tight ball of small white flowers with yellow centers, looking a bit like dozens of tiny fried eggs. Each round flower is about ⅜" (1 cm) in diameter. (Technically, the white parts are bracts—modified leaves—and the yellow parts are the flowers. And only the male (staminate) plants have yellow centers, they are white on female (pistillate) plants.) Especially shortly before they open, the flowers have a pearl-like appearance. They flower from June to October.

Fruits: Small brown seeds with feathery plumes.

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

From Britton, Nathaniel Lord, and Brown, Addison, An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions, 1913, p. Vol. 3: 453

Edibility: The leaves and young plant are edible when cooked.

Online References:

Anaphalis margaritacea at Minnesota Wildflowers

Anaphalis margaritacea at the U.S. Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers site

Anaphalis margaritacea at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Anaphalis margaritacea on Wikipedia

Anaphalis margaritacea at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Anaphalis margaritacea on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Anaphalis margaritacea on eFloras

References:

Britton, Nathaniel Lord, and Brown, Addison, An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions, 1913

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/14/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 4½ × 3½" (11 × 9.1 cm) ID is uncertain

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

9/19/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/7/2013 · Amos Kendall Conservation Land, Dunstable, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 8 × 11" (21 × 26 cm) ID is uncertain

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/14/2015 · Roost Trail, Grafton Notch State Park, Newry, Maine
≈ 4½ × 5" (11 × 13 cm)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/23/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, New Hamp­shire
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 16 cm)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/14/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 4 × 3" (11 × 8.2 cm) ID is uncertain

Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. var. angustior (Miq.) Nakai

Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. var. intercedens H. Hara

Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. var. occidentalis Greene

Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. var. revoluta Suksd.

Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. var. subalpina A. Gray

Anaphalis occidentalis (Greene) A. Heller

Gnaphalium margaritaceum L.

 

Anaphalis margaritacea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 30 Aug 2021.

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Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/14/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/7/2013 · Amos Kendall Conservation Land, Dunstable, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 9 × 7" (21 × 18 cm) ID is uncertain

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/17/2020 · Otter Brook Preserve, Harpswell, Maine
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/17/2020 · Otter Brook Preserve, Harpswell, Maine
≈ 7 × 5" (17 × 13 cm)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/4/2006 · Mt. Mansfield, Stowe, Ver­mont

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/23/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, New Hamp­shire
≈ 5 × 3" (13 × 7.9 cm)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/14/2015 · Roost Trail, Grafton Notch State Park, Newry, Maine
≈ 7 × 10" (16 × 25 cm)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/28/2021 · Otter Brook Preserve, Harpswell, Maine
≈ 5 × 3" (12 × 8.4 cm)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/14/2015 · Roost Trail, Grafton Notch State Park, Newry, Maine
≈ 5 × 6" (12 × 15 cm)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting, western pearly everlasting)

8/23/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, New Hamp­shire
≈ 6 × 9" (16 × 23 cm)

Range: Zones 3-8:

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