Synonyms: Other names: western pearlyeverlasting Nomenclature: margaritacea = pearl like Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
General: 20-60 cm tall, leafy. Growth habit: erect perennial from rhizomes. Stems: loosely white-woolly with hairs or almost green.
Leaves: alternate on stem, up to 12 cm long and 2 cm wide, lance-shaped to linear, stalkless, edges often rolled under. Loosely white-woolly, commonly less hairy above than beneath, or green above.
Flowerheads: white, up to 10 mm wide, with disk florets only, which are yellow to brown, several growing in dense clusters. Involucre about 5-7 mm high with white, papery bracts, sometimes with a small basal dark spot.
Fruits: achenes with small, rounded bumps, with pappus of short, white hairs.
Openings in the forest, from the lowlands to moderately high elevations in the mountains in w. and s. parts of MT. Also extending to B.C., CA, AZ, NM, KS and eastern Asia.
The leaves and young plants can be used as a potherb.
American natives smoked the leaves as tobacco and as a treatment for throat and lung problems. Pearly everlasting poultices were applied to rheumatic joints, burns, sores, bruises and swellings. Plants were also used in medicinal teas to treat colds, bronchial coughs, throat infections, upset stomachs, diarrhea and dysentery. The flowers and stems have a pleasant fragrance and they also keep their shape and color when dried.
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