Pearly Immortelle

(Anaphalis margaretacea) An American plant, introduced to Britain very early, and one of the first New World plants to escape. It is now well established in some areas, notably the South Wales valleys, and also in Cambridgeshire, where, particularly around Newmarket, they used to say it was lucky to wear "everlastings", or even artificial flowers (Burn).

Cheyenne Indians made use of it in a magical way; the dried powdered flowers were put on the sole of their horses' hooves, and also between their ears, to make the animal long-winded and spirited (Johnston). Similarly, they used it to provide the "strong medicine" for themselves. The flowers were dropped on hot coals and the smoke was used to purify gifts which were left on a hill for the sun or the spirits. Before going into battle each man chewed a little of it, and rubbed it over his body, arms and legs, for it was supposed to give strength and energy, and so protection from danger (Youngken). Some of the Ojibwe people used it in a similar way, that is, they sprinkled the flowers on live coals, to be inhaled by anyone who had had a paralytic stroke (H H Smith. 1945).

Pedicularus palustris > RED RATTLE

Pedicularis sylvatica > LOUSEWORT

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