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Butterfly Gardening and Habitat Program

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Pearly Everlasting- Anaphalis margaritacea

Pearly Everlasting gets its rather odd name from two sources. Everlasting refers to the fact that the flowers are easily preserved when cut, hung upside down, and left to dry. Pearly is derived from the plant's species name, margaritacea, which means 'pearl-like'.

In addition to its somewhat odd name, pearly everlasting also has a slightly unusual design feature. While most plants with silvery leaves require dry, sunny planting conditions, pearly everlasting can tolerate moist conditions (if good drainage is provided) and some shade.

Importance as a caterpillar food source: The caterpillars of the American Lady Butterfly use pearly everlasting as a host plant. The caterpillars live as individuals in nests made of leaves and silk.

Importance as a butterfly nectar source: A source of nectar for a variety of butterflies.

The current rating for pearly everlasting is:

Garden Rating
Nectar Rating
Caterpillar Rating

If you have experience growing pearly everlasting, we would like your opinion. Let us know how it performed in your butterfly garden. Your comments will help other butterfly gardeners in your region to create better butterfly gardens:

Pearly Everlasting Cultural Requirements
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 to 8
Bloom Period
July to August
Bloom Color
Plant Height
12 to 36 inches
Plant Spread
12 to24 inches
Light Exposure
Sun to light shade
Soil Moisture
Moist to dry, can grow in sandy soil, needs good drainage
Animal/Disease Problems






Pearly Everlasting bud

pearly everlasting


Native range for Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)



©2008 North American Butterfly Association