Pseudognaphalium californicum

California Everlasting

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 3' X 2'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



California everlasting grows in open sunny areas in the coastal mountains from Washington into Baja, Mexico. It is also found on the Channel Islands and at lower elevations in the Sierra Nevada. It forms a patch of upright stems with alternating, silvery-green, lance-shaped leaves covered with downy hairs (not irritating). The foliage is fragrant but hard to describe. Certainly the fragrance is neither perfumey (like Verbena lilacina or Rhododendron occidentalis) nor mildly unpleasant (like Madia elegans or Peritoma arborea). Each stem is topped with an umbel of bright white flowers. As the plant goes semi-dormant in the summer, the flower heads fade to straw yellow and persist until the next year’s growth. Much seed is produced, yielding many volunteers the following spring. California everlasting is said to be biennial, so allow some of the volunteers to mature to sustain the patch. This plant lends a natural look to the garden, and likely supports a variety of insects. I recently discovered the caterpillar of an American lady butterfly, Vanessa virginiensis, on my nursery stock - always a welcome sight!


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen