A showy, robust, border perennial that is very popular in fresh or dried flower arrangements. The long-lived flat heads of creamy-white flowers can be easily dried by handing upside down in bunches, in a light airy environment. The leaves have a lemony fragrance when dried and are often used in pot pourri.
Family: Asteraceae (daisy)
Botanical Name: Anaphalis
Common Names: Pearl everlasting
Foliage: Deciduous, narrow grey/green leaves.
Flowers: Flat clusters of pearly-white button-like flowers.
Flowering Period: Late summer (August-October).
Soil: Any moist but well-drained soil. Tolerates poor soils. Dislikes heavy clay and waterlogged conditions in winter.
Conditions: Best in full sun but will tollerate some shade.
Habit: Upright, clump forming.
Type: Herbaceous perennial.
Origin: Asia and North America.
Hardiness: Fully hardy in all of the UK.
Unfussy and easy to grow. Can be planted in any aspect, in either an exposed or sheltered location. Grow them at the front or the middle of a mixed border. A good choice for grey-and-white colour themes.
The flowers and leaves are good for cutting and drying.
Stake very tall varieties.
None necessary. The spent flower stalks can be left on the plants to provide an architectural effect over winter. Cut down in early spring.
Generally pest and disease free.
Sow seeds where they are to grow in spring or autumn, or divide mature clumps in the autumn or spring. Alternatively take 2-3in cuttings of basal shoots in the spring and root in a cold frame.
A. triplinervis (triple-nerved, Himalayas) a compact dwarf plant with a domed growth habit. It has narrow grey-green leaves topped with flat heads of white flowers with yellow stamens. Height 16in (40cm), spread 2ft (60cm). A popular variety is 'Summer Snow'.
A. margaritacea has a more open habit with spreading growth. Narrow grey-green leaves and flat heads of white flowers with yellow stamens. Height 16in (40cm), spread 2ft (60cm).
A. margaritacea var. cinnamomea has narrow, pointed, greyish leaves and heads of papery-white flowers with creamy-yellow centres. Good for cut flowers and drying. Height and spread 2ft (60cm).