The Anaphalis genus, and Anaphalis margaritacea
The words or terms in red
(actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a
The Anaphalis genus
consists of about 35 species
that are found in the northern temperate area.
They are erect plants, with
alternate entire leaves.
Their inflorescence is in
are small, discoid,
Their phyllaries are
There is a single species of the genus that grows in Québec,
is a perennial herbaceous plant
native to North America,
that grows to 3 feet tall and typically occurs on dry,
sandy or gravelly sites.
An upright, clump-forming plant, it features attractive, narrow,
woolly, silver-gray foliage and tiny, white, globular flowers
with yellowish centers, arranged in flattish clusters
Anaphalis margaritacea belongs to the
Some say that Anaphalis is an anagram on Gnaphalium a related
genus that looks a bit similar but Anaphalis is not an anagram on
Others say that the name is from the Greek name of a similiar plant, but
there are no entry at
(anaphalis) in my classical Greek dictionary Dictionnaire Grec
Fançais by Anatole Bailly.
- ανα (ana) means at the top.
- φαλοσ (phalos) is a
synonym de λευκοσ
and means shining, white.
(margaritês) means pearl (in Latin, margarita
also means pearl; Margarita Island, just north of the cost
of Venezuela is also called the Pearl of the Caribbean and
furthermore pearl oysters have been harvested n the waters of this
So that an Anaphalis margaritacea would be a plant white at the
top, as pearls and this is my preferred explanation of the name.
The commonest vernacular name
of Anaphalis margaritacea is
Pearly Everlasting, a well deserved name. Other names are
Life-everlasting, Cottonweed, Western Pearly Everlasting
(In French the common names are Anaphale marguerite and
Immortelle de Virginie
Anaphalis margaritacea has also been known as:
- Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. var. angustior
- Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. var. intercedens Hara
- Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. var. occidentalis
- Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. var. revoluta Suksdorf
- Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Benth. var. subalpina Gray
- Anaphalis occidentalis (Greene) Heller
- Gnaphalium margaritaceum L.
Anaphalis margaritacea is an upright plant, up to 3 feet high,
forming clumps up to 2 feet wide, with an attractive, narrow, woolly,
silver-gray foliage and tiny, white, globular flowers with yellow center
arranged in flattish clusters. The plant is
- Alternate, untoothed.
- Long and narrow.
- Linear to
- Greyish-green in appearance, with a wooly feel.
- About 3 to 10 cm long by 6 to 12 mm wide.
- White-tomentose below,
less hairy above,
- In a corymb inflorescence,
2 inches across or wider.
- About 0.8 to 1 cm across.
- With yellowish dioecious
- Without ray florets.
- With pearly white papery phyllaries
that are the more conspicuous part of the inflorescence.
- Blooming from July to August.
The plant prefers sunny to partly shady places and moderately dry to
well drained soils.
It can be found in woods, roadsides and disturbed places.
Throughout North America excepting the states that border the Gulf of Mexico.
Anaphalis margaritacea is also found in
China, Japan and temperate India.
The fluffy flower heads are
valued for dried flower arrangements.
was often employed medicinally by native North American
Indian tribes who used it in the treatment of a range of ailments but
it is little used in modern herbalism.
The whole plant is
Used internally, it is said to be a
good remedy for diarrhoea, dysentery and pulmonary affections, and that a
poultice of the flowers or the whole plant can be applied to burns, sores,
ulcers, bruises, swellings and rheumatic joints.
Yellow to gold, also green and brown dyes can be obtained from the flowers,
stems and leaves combined. The leaves, flowers and stems have been used as
an incense, especially in baby cradles.
In Montana the Northern Cheyenne would carry dried and powdered flowers with
them in medicine bundles, and would chew the flowers and rub them on their arms
before going into battle in order to protect themselves by giving them strength
and energy. It was even put on their horses hooves and blown between its eyes
in order to impart endurance.
The photos of the gallery were taken either with one of the following:
The title in the window shows the date when the picture was taken,
i.e. jan_30_06... would mean that the photo was taken on the 30th of
January, the 06 is for the 6th picture taken that day.
- Fuji Mx 700.
- Minolta DiMAGE 7.
- Nikon 2200.
- Canon Xt Rebel, usually with the EF-S60mm f/2.8 Macro USM objective.
- EPSON Perfection 1650 scanner.
The month, day and picture number might be followed by a letter:
and if there is no letter it's obviously the Minolta.
- c for the Canon Xt Rebel.
- f for the Fuji.
- m for the Minolta DiMAGE 7.
- n for the Nikon.
- s for the EPSON scanner.
Click on the thumbnails to get larger view.
The original photos are usually in TIFF format,
the photos shown are generally in JPEG format,
usually of dimension one half (surface one quarter)
for loading time reduction.
Plants and stem
The leaves were scanned at 300 dpi,
this allows to measure the dimensions of the leaves.