Simply the Best Natives-Pearly Everlasting

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“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”   ~John Muir

 

I am continuing my dreaming in the garden as the snow flies.  Last year I had a couple of plant profile series; Simply The Best Herbs and Wildflower Tales (the list of each series will be soon on the sidebar).  As part of my word for the year, thrive, I am continuing my profile and planting of native plants in my garden.  So I decided to combine these two series into one called, Simply The Best Natives.

I will profile a native plant I already have or want in my garden.  These favorite natives will be divided or added to the obj1512geo823pg2p10garden once I have my plans in place.  But of course that will be later this year or next year.  I am joining forces with a local native plant nursery I really like, Amanda’s Garden, to purchase plants I am adding to my garden.  The owner is Ellen Folts.  Here is how Ellen describes her nursery:

Amanda’s Garden is Located in Springwater New York. We specialize in woodland native perennials. We also carry some prairie and wetland plants and we are expanding our line.  Springwater is in the Finger Lakes of Western NY, south of beautiful Hemlock Lake.

Now doesn’t that sound lovely.  I think it is important to support our local native plant nurseries as they are growing plants that are found locally.  Besides we help ourselves when we support our local businesses.

I have ordered plants from Ellen before and have been pleased with what I have received.  But I have never had a chance to visit.  I am looking forward to a visit this year.  Ellen has a Spring Wildflower weekend in early May so you can see the wildflowers in bloom.  Sounds like a road trip in May.  If you live nearby, consider making a trip to the nursery in early May.  And of course you can get all the latest goings on by liking Amanda’s Garden Native Perennial Nursery page on Facebook.

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IMG_3655The first plant in this series is a most unusual plant that actually flowers in late summer, Pearly Everlasting.  Don’t you just love the name.  Also known as Western Pearly Everlasting and Moonshine, Anaphalis margaritacea is part of the  Aster/Daisy/Sunflower Family (Asteraceae).

The unusual name for this native perennial comes from the fact that the flowers can be dried and preserved lasting a long time.  Pearly refers to the white bracts of the flowers, and the Greek word, margaritacea, which means ‘pearl-like’.

 

As I profile this plant, I will be linking in with [email protected]Clay and Limestone for her Wildflower Wednesday meme.

 

 

Growing Conditions

Pearly Everlasting can tolerate a variety of growing conditions.  Ideally it likes dry, sunny conditions in sandy soil.  But it will grow inIMG_3656 part shade in moist soil, even clay or amended clay soil, as long as it is dry or well draining.  They grow between 1 to 3 feet clumping together.  I have mine growing in the white garden under an ash tree where they get dry part shade.

The narrow gray-green leaves appear to have a woolly-white coating. The flowers appear in late summer as round balls with papery white dry bracts growing around a yellow center when they open.  They have a slight musky fragrance.  And once the seeds dry they blow away on the wind.

This plant will die to the ground each year.  The best way to propagate it is by division.  It has no disease or pest issues and is deer resistant.  Doesn’t it sound like the perfect plant.

 

 

Benefits to Wildlife

IMG_8628One of the great benefits of planting Pearly Everlasting is that it is  an important nectar and larval plant for Painted Lady butterflies and Skippers.

Both American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterflies depend on this plant to live.  American Painted Ladies make nests out of the leaves.

I don’t recall seeing these butterflies in my garden, but I hope to grow more Pearly Everlasting throughout the garden in clumps and maybe entice the Lady butterflies to make a home here.

 

 

Where Are They Found

There are  over 100 species of Anaphalis native to parts of northeast Asia and introduced in Europe.  But there is only IMG_4014one (A. margaritacea) that is native to North America.  You can find Pearly Everlasting in Canada and most of the United States except for those states bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

Look for it in its natural habitat of dry prairies and hillsides, open woods, moist meadows, fields, roadsides and disturbed sites.  

 

 

Uses

IMG_0305The flowers of Pearly Everlasting are perfect for drying and look great in floral arrangements.  If you want longer lasting flowers, pick them before the yellow centers fade.  

The leaves and growth of young plants are edible when cooked.

You can chew the flowers to keep your mouth moist if you find this plant while out in nature.

The leaves, flowers and stems have also been used as incense.

 

 

Folklore and Tales

Because Pearly Everlasting was so readily found, many Native Americans used the plant medicinally.  Common uses IMG_4291included poultices for sores, boiling in tea for rheumatism, and headaches or smoked to treat colds.  And tribes used it as a tobacco substitute. 

The Chumash tribe smoked both leaves and flowers as an appetite suppressant especially the young adults of the tribe during famine to allow the food to go to the children and elders.

Pearly Everlasting was used as a salve for burns in folk medicine.

In the Language of Flowers it means “I think of thee” or “always remembered”.  This is certainly a flower you will not forget.

 

So are you planting any native plants this year?  Do you have a favorite native plant nursery nearby where you purchase your plants?

 

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”  ~ Harriet Tubman

 

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I wanted to let folks know why I have been so far behind my reading and commenting on all your wonderful blogs.  Since the New Year, I have had some health issues that have taken me out of work for several days each week, and kept me from doing too much on the computer.  It is nothing life threatening, but I am trying to regain my health and have had to do nothing much but rest.  I hope to get back to your blogs more in February.  Thank you for your continued support here at Gardens Eye View!

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Next up on the blog:  Next Monday will be time for a Gardens Eye Journal post where I will unveil this year’s vegetable garden plans.

I am linking in with [email protected]Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my latest post.

I can also be found blogging once a month at Vision and Verb.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.sharethelove

I am also joining in I Heart Macro with [email protected]Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

 

 

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