Pearly Everlasting Seeds (Anaphalis margaritacea)
Long late-season blooms, and food for butterflies.
We don’t know much about starting pearly everlasting from seed, but this perennial member of the sunflower family is wonderfully tolerant of terrible soil conditions, often growing merrily in harsh, compacted gravel along roadsides. It’s also tolerant of partial shade.
For some reason, people tend to be dismissive of this sometimes common native, as though it isn’t rare or showy enough to deserve praise. While it’s true the flowers don’t constantly hum with insect activity, this is still an important host plant for the caterpillars of painted lady butterflies. It’s also deer-resistant, it forms nice (non-invasive) colonies, and it has exceptionally long bloom times, lasting late into the summer and fall when few other things are growing and flowering.
Add to that, the plant has beautiful silver-grey foliage that contrasts with otherwise green and tan late-season meadows. Moreover, this is a great plant for flower arrangements, including dry arrangements with interesting foliage that remains intact long after it’s been cut.
Pearly everlasting is found across the west coast, and extends into Alaska and East Asia. Ours includes the pappus (seed fluff) attached to the ridiculously tiny seeds.
Approximately 200 to 300 seeds per packet (0.1 grams).