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Plantidote of the Day 2011-06-17

twig's picture


Gnaphalium californicum

California everlasting

One of the prettiest members of the local chaparral (native plants). Everlasting is a member of the aster family. The plants grow wild here in Zone 10, big clusters of them dotting the canyon hillsides.

Growing them at home is an entirely different story. A lot of native plants are tricky to cultivate. They've adapted to living in blazing sun with their roots wedged into rocky crevices in extreme drought conditions. Moving them to a yard with regular water and fertilizer does not make them happy. But with so much wild space in California, the everlastings are never far away.

Interesting features of everlastings: they dry beautifully and live up to their name, lasting for what seems like forever. Also, this variety smells exactly like maple syrup, even after the flowers have dried, so they're great in dried arrangements -- as long as you don't mind your house smelling like an IHOP!

Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

in diameter fully opened. Someday I'll remember to put something in the shot to indicate scale -- maybe :-)

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

lol, "scratch n sniff button."

i grew these last year as annuals. they got a lot of water are food, but seemed to do ok. they were probably hybrids adapted for sale in the midwest. i still have the dried flowers. i should go to the nursery and get another one. it was a very attractive plant to cultivate.