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Pearly everlasting derives name from white leaves

Pearly everlasting, a late-season mountain wildflower, derives its name from its long-lasting white leaves that surround its small yellow blossoms.
Pearly everlasting, a late-season mountain wildflower, derives its name from its long-lasting white leaves that surround its small yellow blossoms. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Even in this unusually hot and dry year you’re still likely to encounter pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) blooming along roads and trails in the mountains.

The late-season wildflower often forms dense, knee-high clumps of gray-green foliage topped with small white flowers. What look like white petals are actually papery bracts (specialized leaves) surrounding nearly hidden tiny yellow blossoms. The pearly white bracts remain on the plants well into autumn, giving pearly everlasting its common name.

Pearly everlasting makes a great cut flower. It dries well and is popular in dried as well as fresh flower arrangements.

Photo courtesy Mark Turner, photographer and co-author of “Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest” and “Trees & Shrubs of the Pacific Northwest.”

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