The Anaphalis genus, and Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Bentham

Remark The words or terms in red (actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a glossary.


sep_23_01.thmb can't be loaded. 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 corymb. Their capitula are small, discoid, dioecious. Their phyllaries are scarious, white. There is a single species of the genus that grows in Québec, Anaphalis margaritacea

Anaphalis margaritacea 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 (corymbs). Anaphalis margaritacea belongs to the Asteraceae family.

Name

Some say that Anaphalis is an anagram on Gnaphalium a related genus that looks a bit similar but Anaphalis is not an anagram on Gnaphalium!

Others say that the name is from the Greek name of a similiar plant, but there are no entry at αναφαλισ (anaphalis) in my classical Greek dictionary Dictionnaire Grec Fançais by Anatole Bailly.

In Greek:

So that an Anaphalis margaritacea would be a plant “ white at the top, as pearls „ and this is my preferred explanation of the name.

Common names

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

Synonyms

Anaphalis margaritacea has also been known as: july_14_08.thmb can't be loaded.

Description

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 dioecious.

Leaves

Flower heads

Fruits

Habitat

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.

Distribution

Throughout North America excepting the states that border the Gulf of Mexico. Anaphalis margaritacea is also found in China, Japan and temperate India.

Remarks

The fluffy flower heads are valued for dried flower arrangements.

Anaphalis margaritacea 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 anodyne, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant and sedative. 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.

Gallery

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.

The month, day and picture number might be followed by a letter:

and if there is no letter it's obviously the Minolta.

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

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Leaves

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Flowers

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