Anaphalis – Everlasting: Good gray foliage is invaluable to a gardener. Many gray-foliaged plants, however, will melt out (rot) unless the requirements for excellent drainage or even drought-like conditions and full sun are met. While Anaphalis is drought tolerant, it still has the ability to flourish in moist soil or partial shade.
Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting), native to both North America and Northeast Asia and hardy in zones 4-7, will grow two to three feet high and two feet wide. Less water will keep the plant at the shorter height as will June pinching. The rounded flower heads are composed of dozens of tiny florets which last for a long time in the garden and also dry well for arrangements. The attractive foliage has a white furry underside which is apparent along the rolled margins. This is a perennial that looks best when grown as a mass, easy to do because it is rhizomatous. It could be placed in the front of a deep border with tall asters, Joe Pye Weed or Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ behind it. Alternatively, it could be placed in the middle of a border with any of the above perennials behind it and Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’ in front of it.
Anaphalis triplinervis (Three-Veined Everlasting), an Asian species and hardy from zones 3-8, only grows twelve to eighteen inches tall and wide. It has woolly leaves and flowers that are grayish-white with a yellow center and is a great front of the border perennial.
Both species bloom from late August into October. Even though this perennial is not as readily available as some others, it’s worth spending a little extra time searching for it.