Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. & Hook. f.

pearly everlasting

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Pearly everlasting is native to North America and Asia, but as a widely-cultivated ornamental it has greatly increased its range. It is often used in dried flower arrangements. It was used by Native Americans as a substitute for tobacco, and as a medicinal herb to treat burns, colds, coughs, diarrhea and dysentery, asthma, and sores and swelling.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields, shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
Ray flower color
NA
Tuft or plume on fruit
at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
75–120 mm
Flower head width
Up to 10 mm
Disk flower number
  • 21-50
  • more than 50
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bases of bract appendages
    NA
    Bract color
    the bracts are not colored or tinged with pink, red or purple
    Bract cycle number
    there are three or more cycles of bracts
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are hairy on their outer surfaces, with curled, tangled, matted, or woolly hairs
    Bract shape
    • the main bracts are linear (long and very narrow)
    • the main bracts are ovate (egg-shaped)
    Disk flower color
    yellow
    Disk flower number
    • 21-50
    • more than 50
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has either only pollen- or only seed-producing parts
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, the flowers have no enlarged lobe or strap, and are of similar size as those in the center of the disk
    Flower head platform
    the base has no bristles or papery scales
    Flower head platform surface
    NA
    Flower head profile
    • the disk is flat or nearly flat across the top
    • the disk is rounded across the top
    Flower head width
    Up to 10 mm
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
    Height of flower head base
    5–7 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    the inflorescence is flat-topped in profile
    Ovary attachment
    the ovary is attached at or near the base
    Ovary beak
    there is no beak on the ovary
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is oblong (roughly rectangular but rounded at the ends)
    Ovary surface
    the ovary surface is textured with tiny points, bumps or wrinkles
    Ray flower color
    NA
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Ray flowers
    0
    Ray length
    0 mm
    Reproductive system
    the flowers on the plant may have either carpels or stamens, but always in separate flowers
    Scale tip
    NA
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is no smaller, outer cycle of bracts
    Width of flower head base
    6–10 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Ovary beak length
    0 mm
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    0.5–1 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    the pappus hairs are not attached to one another near the base
    Seed hair tuft details
    the pappus hairs are hooked or barbed
    Seed hair tuft tips
    the pappus hairs are slender
    Seed hairs uniform
    all the pappus hairs are approximately the same length
    Seed tuft scale number
    0
    Seed tuft type
    the pappus is made of very fine hairs or bristles
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
  • Glands or sap
    Leaf blade glands
    • the leaf blades have glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    • the leaf blades have no glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Horizontal rooting stem
    there are no stolons
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is perennial, it shows evidence of previous year's leaves, stems or stem bases
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has no petiole
    • the leaf has no petiole and at the base it clasps the stem, or goes all the way around the stem so the stem appears to pierce the leaf
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade bloom
    the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    Leaf blade flatness
    the edges of the leaf are curled under
    Leaf blade hairs
    • the leaf blade has hairs with glands at their tips
    • the leaf blade has simple hairs with no glands, and not tangled or wooly
    • the leaf blade has tangled or woolly-looking hairs
    Leaf blade length
    75–120 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    • the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    there is no noticeable color variation on the upper surface of the leaf
    Leaf blade veins
    • the leaf blade has one main vein running from the base towards the tip
    • the leaf blade has three main veins running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf blade width
    Up to 20 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf stalk length
    0 mm
    Leaf tip extension
    NA
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
    Teeth per side of leaf blade
    0
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    • the plant does not have much of an odor
    • the plant has a pleasant odor, such as licorice, fruit or resin
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem bloom
    there is no powdery or waxy film on the stem
    Stem internode hair type
    at least some of the hairs on the stem are tangled, matted or woolly
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has hairs between the nodes
    Stem wings
    • the stem does not have wings on it
    • the stem has wings on it that run down the stem from the leaf nodes

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
widespread (S-rank: S5)

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium:
involucral bracts dingy white to yellow-white and appressed (vs. A. margaritacea, with involucral bracts bright white and the outer loosely ascending).

Synonyms

  • Anaphalis margaritacea var. angustior (Miq.) Nakai
  • Anaphalis margaritacea var. intercedens Hara
  • Anaphalis margaritacea var. occidentalis Greene
  • Anaphalis margaritacea var. subalpina Gray
  • Gnaphalium margaritaceum L.

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Anaphalis

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. & Hook. f. N

pearly everlasting. Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. & Hook. f. var. angustior (Miq.) Nakai; 
 A. margaritacea (L.) Benth. & Hook. f. var. intercedens Hara; A. margaritacea (L.) Benth. & Hook. f. var. occidentalis Greene; A. margaritacea (L.) Benth. & Hook. f. var. subalpina Gray; Gnaphalium margaritaceum L. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Roadsides, forest openings, river beaches, fields.