Pearly Everlasting, Waa•bigwan

Photo of Pearly Everlasting, known to the Ojibwe as Waa•bigwan.

Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) can often be found growing on dry, sandy soils, among Pussy Toes, and orange or yellow Hawkweeds. The plant can grow from anywhere from  between 6 to 8 inches to a foot tall. It is noted for its small, yellow centered, daisy like bloom and its white, woolly texture.

The leaves and flowers of this plant were used in traditional Ojibwe medicine practice. The leaves were smoked to revive people afflicted with strokes and and its flowers were boiled in water and the steam vapor inhaled to aid rheumatism and paralysis. Its Ojibwe name was recorded as Wa ’bigwûn by noted Minnesota ethnobotanist Frances Densmore. Waa•bigwan is the contemporary Ojibwe spelling.