Synonyms: (Anaphalis lanata, Anaphalis margaritacea var. angustior, Anaphalis m. var. intercedens, Anaphalis m. var. occidentalis, Anaphalis m. var. revoluta, Anaphalis m. var. subalpina, Anaphalis occidentalis, Antennaria margaritacea, Gnaphalium margaritaceum, Nacrea lanata)
Flowering Season: June or July to October, late summer benefits from monsoon rainfall.
Elevation: 4,500 to 8,500 feet (1,300-2,590 m)
Habitat Preferences: Sandy or gravelly soils; various higher elevation habitats, dry prairies, open woods, roadsides, pine forests, uplands, woodlands, sunny openings, and disturbed sites or waste places.
Recorded Range:Anaphalis margaritacea is found throughout most of the United States, Canada, Baja California and northern Mexico. It is absent in the eastern and central southern United States. In Arizona it is found in the north, east and southern parts of the state.
This is also an Asian native species where it is found in China, the Russian Far East, Japan, Korea, northern Indochina, and the Himalayas. This species was introduced in Europe where it was planted as an ornamental, quickly escaped and is now naturalized.
North America species range map for Anaphalis margaritacea:
North American range map courtesy of Virginia Tech, Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation
Click image for full size map
U.S. Weed Information: Unknown
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: Unknown
Wetland Indicator: In North America Anaphalis margaritacea has the following wetland designations: Alaska, UPL; Arid West, FACU; Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, UPL; Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, UPL; Great Plains, FACU; Midwest, FACU; Northcentral & Northeast, FACU; Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, FACU.
UPL = Obligate Upland, almost never occur in wetlands
FACU = Facultative Upland, usually occur in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands.
Threatened/Endangered Information: Unknown
Genus Information: In North America there is 1species and 1 accepted taxa overall for Anaphalis. World wide, The Plant List includes 113 accepted species names and includes a further 110 of infraspecific rank for the genus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah each have the species. All data approximate and subject to revision.
The genus Anaphalis was published by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1837.
Comments: Western Pearly Everlasting is a high elevation attractive conspicuous showy plant. It is not a desert species but might be encountered. It is a whitish wooly looking perennialnative to most of North America. It has been cultured as an ornamental both in the United States and Europe, where it is now naturalized.
The persisting "flowers" are actually dried pearly white bracts or phyllaries that surround the numerous yellow or brownish disk flowers, making it a natural for artificial flower arrangements.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Seeds of Anaphalis margaritaceae may likely be eaten by birds and small mammals.
Special Value to Native Bees, Butterflies and Insects
Western Pearly Everlasting, Anaphalis margaritaceae, attracts a host of insects including butterflies and possibly bees and other small insects.
American Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa virginiensis, the leaves are host to their caterpillars.
Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa cardui, the leaves are host to their caterpillars.
Pine White, Neophasia menapia, lone sighting; individual feeding on Anaphalis margaritacea
To find out more about Butterflies and Moths of North America visit BAMONA.
The genus Anaphalis (Anaph'alis:) is from the Greek name of a similar plant. The genus Anaphalis was published by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1837.
The species epithet "margaritacea" (margarita'cea:) is from the Latin margarita, "a pearl," hence pertaining to pearls, pearly.
Western Pearly Everlasting, Anaphalis margaritaceae, is, and has been used for a multitude of medicinal, protection and personal purposes by indigenous peoples across the United States.
Algonquin, Tete-de-Boule Drug, Burn Dressing; Poultice of boiled leaves applied to burns.
Anticosti Food, Beverage; Flowers used to scent alcohol.
Bella Coola Drug, Tuberculosis Remedy; Plants formerly used for tuberculosis.
Cherokee Drug, Analgesic; Infusion steamed and inhaled for headache.
Cherokee Drug, Cold Remedy; Warm infusion taken for cold and leaves smoked or chewed for colds.
Cherokee Drug, Eye Medicine; Infusion steamed and inhaled for blindness caused by the sun.
Cherokee Other, Smoke Plant; Dried leaves used as a substitute for chewing tobacco.
Cheyenne Drug, Ceremonial Medicine; Powdered flowers chewed and rubbed on body to protect and strengthen warrior
Cheyenne Drug, Disinfectant; Smoke used to purify gift made to the spirits.
Cheyenne Drug, Veterinary Aid; Plant used in various ways to make horses long-winded.
Cheyenne Drug, Veterinary Aid; Powdered flowers put on each hoof & blown between the ears for long windedness, spirit & endurance.
Cheyenne Other, Ceremonial Items; Leaves burned as incense and used to purify gifts offered to the sun or the spirits
Cheyenne Other, Protection; Dried flowers carried or chewed and rubbed on the body as protection from danger before battle
Chippewa Drug, Antirheumatic (External); Compound decoction of flowers used as herbal steam for rheumatism and paralysis.
Chippewa Drug, Orthopedic Aid; Infusion of flower used as herbal steam for rheumatism and paralysis.
Delaware, Oklahoma Drug, Tonic; Compound containing root used as a tonic.
Iroquois Drug, Antidiarrheal, Eye Medicine, Gastrointestinal Aid and Respiratory Aid; Roots and stalks used for diarrhea and dysentery; Infusion of plants used as wash for sore eyes; Compound decoction of roots and flowers taken for bruise on back of stomach; Infusion of flowers and roots from another plant used for asthma.
Kwakiutl Drug, Dermatological Aid and Internal Medicine; Poultice of flowers applied to sores and swellings; Decoction of flowers taken for internal disorders.
Mahuna Drug, Dermatological Aid; Flowers used for skin ulcers and foot sores
Mohegan Drug, Cold Remedy; Infusion of leaves taken as a cold medicine.
Montagnais Drug, Cough Medicine and Tuberculosis Remedy; Decoction of plant taken for cough; Decoction of plant taken for consumption.
Nitinaht Drug, Other; Plants rubbed on the hands to soften them for handling or touching sick people.
Okanagan-Colville Drug, Gastrointestinal Aid, Incense & Fragrance; Cooled infusion of roots and shoots taken as a laxative and emetic for a 'poison stomach'; Leaves, stems and flowers placed in baby cradles, pillows or stored clothes for the good smell.
Paiute Other, Containers; Branches used to cover baskets filled with berries.
Potawatomi Drug, Witchcraft Medicine and Protection; Flowers smoked in a pipe or smudged on coals to repel evil spirits; Dried tops placed on a pan of live coals to hurt the eyes of the evil spirits and keep them away.
Quileute Drug, Antirheumatic (Internal); Whole plant used as a steambath for rheumatism
Thompson Drug, Misc. Disease Remedy; Decoction of dried flowers taken for rheumatic fever.
See full species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.