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Pearly everlasting

The white flowers of pearly everlasting.

Pearly everlasting is a North American native perennial found in dry sunny, gravelly fields and wood edges. It grows about 3 feet high on upright stems with a flat-topped clusters of small white flowers with yellow centers and silver-gray foliage. It blooming in late summer. This is a larval host for the painted lady butterfly.

Botanical name:

Anaphalis margaritacea

All common names:

Pearly everlasting, pearly-everlasting, western pearly everlasting

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Perennial

Native Locale:

  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Massing,
  • Patio/sidewalk

Size Range:

  • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 3,
  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Dry soil


  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Road salt

Seasons of Interest:

  • midsummer,
  • late summer,
  • early fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:


An upright, clump-forming perennial reaching 1 to 3 feet high and 1 to 2 feet wide.

Plant Care

Best in full sun in loose gravelly, sandy soil.
Cut flowers are long-lasting and make excellent dried arrangements.
Well drained soil needed to avoid root rots.

Disease, pests, and problems

Butterfly larval feeding on leaves in spring but recover by midsummer.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

None serious, deer

Native geographic location and habitat

Found along roadsides and dry, gravelly, sandy fields  throughout North America.

Attracts birds & pollinators

Butterflies. This is a host plant for the larvae of American painted lady.

Leaf description

Silver-gray slender leaves about 3 to 5 inches long on wooly stems.
Leaves often have a wavy to a rolled edge and pointed leaf tip.

Flower description

Dioecious, male and female flowers on separate plants.
Clusters of tiny yellow flowers enclosed in white papery bracts, often mistaken for petals.
Male flowers are globular, females flowers are egg-shaped.

Fruit description

A small brown seed with tufts of white hairs which help to carry it off into the wind.

Location of Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly everlasting) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.