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A Pearly Everlasting Perennial

A Pearly Everlasting Perennial

Pearly Everlasting Perennial

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Anaphalis margaritacea, or Pearly everlasting, is a herbaceous perennial or biennial with long-lasting, yellowish-white flowers resembling tiny asters. In some cases, the plant will overwinter as a low rosette of leaves, while in other cases, the plant completes its growth and development within a single year The plant is found throughout North America and typically grows wild in moist meadows, by rivers, and in sandy and waste places. The dried stalks with their pure white flowers are attractive in dried floral arrangements.Pearly everlasting tolerates frost and usually flowers in late summer with seeds ripening in the fall. The plant is dioecious (that is, individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant) thus both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. However, it is an easy plant to propagate by division. The stem has a soft gray color from the hairs on its surface that makes it a good plant for separating other bold colored flowers that might otherwise clash. Its short stature lends itself to use as an edging plant.

Plant

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Long-lasting, yellowish-white flowers resemble tiny asters. Each mature plant terminates in a flat-headed panicle of flowerheads; each panicle is made up of several small corymbs of 2 to 5 flowerheads. Individual flowerheads are ¼ inch long and white to cream-colored; they are conical-oblongoid in shape. The sides of each flowerhead consist of many overlapping bracts that are white or cream-colored; these scale-like bracts are oblong-lanceolate to broadly oblong-lanceolate and they have blunt tips. At the apex of each flowerhead, there are many disk florets that are pale yellow to light brown; the innermost florets are perfect (both staminate and pistillate), while the remaining florets are pistillate. Each tiny floret is narrowly tubular. The blooming period occurs from late summer to early fall and lasts about a month. A native wildflower over much of North America, valuable in the garden for its late summer display of white flowers. Plants form a bushy mound of silvery-grey leaves, bearing upright, branching heads of papery button flowers. Excellent cut flowers, either fresh or dried. Tolerates most soil conditions, drought tolerant once established. Attractive to butterflies. Plants are sometimes inclined to self seed all over, which can be prevented by gathering the heads to dry, or shearing back before the seeds ripen.

A native wildflower over much of North America, valuable in the garden for its late summer display of white flowers. Plants form a bushy mound of silvery-grey leaves, bearing upright, branching heads of papery button flowers. Excellent cut flowers, either fresh or dried. Tolerates most soil conditions, drought tolerant once established. Attractive to butterflies. Plants are sometimes inclined to self seed all over, which can be prevented by gathering the heads to dry, or shearing back before the seeds ripen. There are separate male and female flowers, usually on separate plants, and they take on different gender-specific yellow or rust-yellow color. Blossoms can be dried for durable bouquets or flower arrangements as they keep their color and shape well. In the spring, this plant is a larvae host for the butterfly the American Lady- Vanessa virginensis (see photo of a surprise we found in our greenhouse one spring); you are sure to see this well-loved butterfly flying around your plants. The young larvae create a silken web around the plant to feed. This can look discouraging if you are trying to grow this plant, but like in many native plant-insect relationships, the plant generally makes a full recovery and flowers later in the summer. Flowers persist and are profuse late-summer through fall to attract numerous beneficial insects. (Source: www.prairiemoon.com)

 

 

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