Anaphalis margaritacea

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Scientific Name: Anaphalis margaritacea
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Common Names: pearly everlasting
  • Synonyms/Misapplications: Gnaphalium margaritaceum
  • Codon: ANAMAR

Photo by Rod Gilbert. Also featured on Main Page


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Spermatophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteranae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Anaphalis DC.
Species: Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth.
  • Anaphalis occidentalis (Greene) A. Heller
  • Gnaphalium margaritaceum L.


Plant Description

Individual, erect, cottony stems grow 1-3 ft. tall and are often clumped together creating a bushy appearance. Narrow leaves are gray-green to woolly-white. Globular flowers are actually long-enduring, white, dry bracts arranged around a yellow center. Several evenly leafy woolly stems in a small patch are topped by a crowded, roundish cluster of flower heads with pearly-white bracts, sometimes with a dark spot at base of each outer bracts. The dried stalks with their pearly-white heads are attractive in floral arrangements. The pure white flower is commonly used in dried flower arrangements. Good dried flowers; food plant for Painted lady butterflies.[2]

Bloom Period

July through September.[3]


Widely distributed throughout Washington; occurring throughout North America except for portions of Midwest and Southeast.[3]


Dry to somewhat moist open areas, low to sub-alpine elevations.[3]


In folk medicine, it is used as a salve for burns. (Strickland)[2]


[Propagation protocol from USDA NRCS]

Anaphalis margaritacea, photo: Lisa Hintz


Anaphalis margaritacea with pappus, photo: Lisa Hintz

Seed sample from 2010

Average Measurement: 0.6 x 0.2 x 0.2

Measurement Range: L: 0.4 - 0.75, W: 0.1 - 0.3, D: 0.1 - 0.3


Shape: Seeds somewhat ribbed. Right above hilum, seed narrows considerably before flaring out again.

Color: Seed is brown. Hilum is glossy and puckered, lighter colored that rest of seed.

Additional Features: Pappus of downy white hairs significantly longer that seed itself.

Surface: Seed covered in clear globules and is slightly lustrous.

Could be confused with: Antennaria howellii

Latitudinal Cross Section: elliptical ANMA-lat-crosssection.png

Longitudinal Cross Section: elliptical ANMA-long-crosssection.png

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  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved from
  2. 2.0 2.1 Native Plants of North America.” Retrieved from
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from