|Monday Melange: Pearly Everlasting|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Monday, 30 April 2012|
Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) is one of nature’s perfect dried flowers. All you have to do is pick it, hang it upside down and within a day or two you’ll have the perfect dried flower. Some might consider it a weed, but I think it’s a pretty little flower. Its range extends throughout much of the US with the exception of North Dakota and the south from Texas across to Florida. Pearly everlasting, which technically is called Western pearly everlasting, is hardy between USDA plant zones 3 and 8.
Pearly everlasting is a perennial flower commonly found along roadsides and in sunny, dry fields, and is a member of the Aster plant family (Asteraceae). The flower heads are quite small, about 1/4 inch across. Of note is that the flowers are actually yellow and the pearly white “flower” is actually composed of petal-like bracts that surround the flower. This is where the flower gets the “everlasting” part of its name. These bracts remain in place (and stay the same color) even after the flower dies. Growing to a height of 12 to 36 inches tall, pearly everlasting has narrow, grayish-green leaves that are covered in tiny hairs.
If you’re looking to recreate an old field habitat in your yard that attracts butterflies, pearly everlasting is a good choice in addition to goldenrod, asters, little bluestem grass, and milkweed. It spreads by rhizomes and can be quite aggressive.
Photo source: www.wildflowersofontario.ca