Anaphalis margaritacea

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Pearly everlasting
Photographer: Rod Gilbert

Abbreviation Code: ANMA


  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • (unranked): Angiosperms
  • (unranked): Eudicots
  • (unranked): Asterids
  • Order: Asterales
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Subfamily: Asteroideae
  • Tribe: Gnaphalieae
  • Genus: Anaphalis
  • Species: A. margaritacea
  • Binomial name: Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth.

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.

Bloom Period

July through September.


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


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


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


[Propagation protocol from USDA NRCS]


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

Anaphalis margaritacea with pappus
Anaphalis margaritacea

Basic Explanations and Assumptions:

The dimensions for the seeds are length x width x depth. The location of the hilum is used as the base of the seed, and the length is measured from hilum to the opposite apex. Where a style is present, the length is measured from the hilum to the bottom of the style. Width is measured at a right angle to the length at the widest part. Depth is measured at a right angle to the intersection of height and width lines.

Measurements included are the mean average for each measurement of ten separate seeds.

All measurements in millimeters unless otherwise noted.

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