Pearly Everlasting

Anaphalis margaritacea

Pearly everlasting, Anaphalis margaritacea, is a native wildflower important to a couple of our most attractive butterflies. It’s a host plant for the American lady and painted lady butterflies, which means that it’s a main food source for their caterpillars – and you can’t have a butterfly without a caterpillar.
While its silvery-green leaves host these caterpillars in the spring, by mid-summer they will have flown off and the plant will be producing tiny yellow and white flowers (the white parts are actually bracts, but they look like petals) from July to September.
Typically growing to about 60 centimetres tall, these plants can be grown in front of taller wildflowers like dense blazing-star or gray-headed prairie coneflower, or used in a border with plants like little bluestem grass, black-eyed Susan and butterfly milkweed.
Plant in dry to slightly moist locations, in sandy to light clay soils, including rocky or nutrient-poor soils. Choose full sun or light shade locations and allow the plants room to spread. Divide them every few years to avoid dieback in the centre of the plant.
The pretty, delicate flowers can also be clipped and brought inside for use in fresh bouquets or dried flower arrangements.

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