Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting)
|Also known as:||Large-flowered Everlasting|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; dry fields, roadsides, edges of woods|
|Bloom season:||July - October|
|Plant height:||1 to 3 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Generally flat-topped clusters of numerous ¼ to 1/3-inch flower heads at the top of the plant. There are separate male and female flowers, usually on separate plants. Male flowers are globular with numerous slender, erect yellowish brown staminate flowers in the yellow center disc.
Female flowers are globular to egg-shaped with a yellowish to dark brown bristly ring around the top of the flower head. Both genders have what appear to be numerous tiny white petals in many layers around the center. These are actually bracts. The bracts on the female flowers do not spread out much until seed starts forming.
Leaves are 3 to 5 inches long, to ¾ inch wide, toothless, often with wavy or rolled edges, covered in white woolly hairs on both surfaces but especially on the underside, sharply pointed at the tip with no leaf stalk. Stems are densely covered in woolly white hairs.
Notes:Pearly Everlasting is common along roadsides in the northeast part of the state. Look for it in late summer. Similar species is Sweet Everlasting (Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium), which does not have separate male and female flowers. As the common name Everlasting suggests, the flower heads retain their shape well and are commonly used in dried flower arrangements.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River State Park, Chisago County and along roadsides on the North Shore in St. Louis and Lake counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?