pearly everlasting

(Anaphalis margaritacea)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

pearly everlasting


N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland






Dry. Woodland and forest edges and openings, fields, roadsides, and other disturbed sites. Full sun to partial shade.


July to September

Flower Color

White bracts, yellowish disk


8 to 32



This is a 8 to 32 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises usually on a single stem from a slender, horizontal, underground stem (rhizome) and fibrous roots.

The stems are very leafy, usually erect, and often branched. They are densely and closely covered with white, woolly hairs. As the stem ages the hairs become tan to rust colored and less dense. There are no glands on the stem. The sap is not milky. The plant is not aromatic.

Stem leaves are alternate, numerous, stalkless, and linear to lance-shaped. Lower stem leaves are up to 4¾ long and up to about wide. The leaf blade is bluntly to sharply pointed at the tip. It is wedge-shaped and sometimes slightly expanded and clasping at the base. The base of the blade extends down the stem. There is a prominent central vein and two faint lateral veins that arch toward the tip. The lower surface is densely covered with white woolly hairs, becoming less hairy with age. The upper surface is dark green and usually less hairy, becoming almost hairless with age. There are no glands on the leaf surfaces, or, if present, the glands are very sparse and inconspicuous. The margins are untoothed and are sometimes curled under.

Basal leaves are similar in size and shape to lower stem leaves. They are usually absent by flowering time.

The inflorescence is a short, broad, rounded to almost flat-topped, branched cluster (panicle) of numerous crowded flower heads at the end of the stem and branches. The individual flower heads are no more than wide. They are globe-shaped and are on to 5 16 long, densely hairy stalks. Male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers are borne on separate plants. Female flower heads usually have a few staminate flowers, however the plants are not self-fertile. Separate male and female plants must be present to produce seed.

The base of the flower head (involucre) is broadly egg-shaped to cup shaped and 3 16 to ¼ high. It is composed of 8 to 12 overlapping series of modified leaves (bracts). The involucral bracts (phyllaries) are egg-shaped to nearly linear, mostly bluntly pointed at the tip, and mostly loosely appressed. They are bright white, opaque, and usually slightly shiny, at least above the middle, and brownish at the base. When the pistillate flower is in fruit the bracts dry and spread widely.

Female flower heads have a compact disk-like arrangement of 50 to 150 or more pistillate flowers and usually 2 to 4 staminate flowers at the center. The flowers are yellow to greenish-yellow. Male flower heads have 30 to 55 all staminate flowers.

The fruit is a dry, brown, one-seeded, 1 64 to 1 32 long seed capsule (cypsela) with a tuft of 10 to 20 short bristles (pappus) attached to the end. The pappi fall off readily.


Rabbit-tobacco (Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium) flower heads are narrow, twice as long as wide. All flower heads have marginal pistillate flowers and central perfect (with both staminate and pistillate parts) flowers.

Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.





Asteraceae (aster)









Gnaphalieae (pussy’s-toes)


Anaphalis margaritacea var. angustior

Anaphalis margaritacea var. intercedens

Anaphalis margaritacea var. occidentalis

Anaphalis margaritacea var. revoluta

Anaphalis margaritacea var. subalpina

Anaphalis occidentalis

Gnaphalium margaritaceum


common pearleverlasting

pearly everlasting


western pearly everlasting

western pearlyeverlasting












Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.



A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed from the wall of the inferior ovary and also from other tissues derived from the receptacle or hypanthium, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.



A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



A pyramidal inflorescence with a main stem and branches. Flowers on the lower, longer branches mature earlier than those on the shorter, upper ones.



The modified calyx composed of awns, scales, bristles, or feather-like hairs in plants of the Asteraceae family.



Referring to a flower that has both male and female reproductive organs.



An individual bract within the involucre of a plant in the Asteraceae family.



Referring to a flower that has a female reproductive organ (pistil) but does not have male reproductive organs (stamens).



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.



Referring to a flower that has a male reproductive organs (stamens) but does not have a female reproductive organ (pistil



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Other Videos

  Western Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)
Wandering Sole TV

Published on Jul 26, 2013

Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea), a member of the Asteraceae (sunflower) family, growing in the East Kootenays of British Columbia. The flowers maintain their colour and shape until the first snows of winter, or when dried - giving the plant its "everlasting" name. They usually do not bloom until mid to late summer, but they really arrived early this year. I've been seeing them since early July.

The Nlaka'pmx peoples used the plant to treat rheumatic fever and coughs, while the Okanagan peoples made a tea from the roots in order to treat upset stomachs.

  Anaphalis margaritacea

Published on Oct 12, 2013

Pearly Everlasting is a member of the Aster or Asteraceae family. Its showy white blooms can last into the winter.

  yellow jacket on pearly everlasting
Crystal Colby Mulry

Published on Sep 29, 2013

No description available.

  Mountain Moment: Hover Fly Paradise
Mount Rainier National Park

Published on Sep 13, 2013

Pearly everlasting is in peak bloom in the Paradise area of the park. Hover flies, which feed on wildflower pollen, also seem to be at their peak as is evident in this Mountain Moment. Hover flies mimic the bold yellow and black stripes of bees to avoid predators, but unlike bees have no stingers. In subalpine meadows, hover flies pollinate more flowers than bees. This footage was filmed alongside the Paradise Valley Road on September 3, 2013.




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