Sweet Everlasting

Sweet EverlastingThis large family (Asteraceae), commonly called the Aster Family, consists of 1,314 genera and 21,000 species of herbs, shrubs, climbers and a few trees is found chiefly in temperate and subtropical regions.  The plants are of value to man as ornamentals; a few are insecticides and fish poisons. Plants in this genus, Gnaphalium, are known as Cudweed.  The leaves of some plants in this genus are astringents and have been used as gargle and in treatment of mouth and throat diseases. In August of 1852 Thoreau wrote “The leaves of the dogsbane are turning yellow.  These are as few or fewer birds heard than flowers seen.  The red-eye still occasionally.  Agrimony still.  The dry pearly, and almost incorruptible heads of the Life Everlasting.  Ah! This is truly elysian flower now, beyond change and decay, not lusty but immortal,–pure ascetics, suggesting a widowed virginity. Among the Menominee Indians, when a person has fainted, a smudge made from the leaves “is used to bring him back to consciousness again, the smoke being blown into his nostrils.”

OtherCommonName:

Rabbit Tobacco, Ladies’ Tobacco, Cat Foot, White Everlasting, Indian-Posy

ScientificName:

Gnaphalium obtusifolium

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Annual

PlantHeight:

1 to 2 ½ feet

FruitingTime:

Mid August to October

Distribution:

Throughout the USA ~ Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Mid August to October

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Fragrant erect ~ Stem white, hairy ~ Leaves numerous, lance shaped, woolly, alternate ~ Heads many flowered, flower white, tubular