MOUNTAIN EVERLASTING

Antennaria dioica

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
flower
flower8lilac
inner
inner8pink
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZMany
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZdioecious

1st June 2012, Buachaille Etive Beag, Rannoch Moor, West Highlands Photo: © Gordon Anderson
  A short and neat plant to 20cm with a small bunch of compact flowers atop in an umbel. But, as can be seen here, there is a basal rosette around the flowering stem, but there are also about 6 side stems of leaves branching off along the ground and looking like they are remote basal rosettes without a central flowering stem. These rooting runners spawn many nearby 'basal rosettes' (which may eventually bear a central flowering stalk themselves?)


1st June 2012, Buachaille Etive Beag, Rannoch Moor, West Highlands Photo: © Gordon Anderson
  White-hairy stems have short narrow lanceolate and appressed leaves.


1st June 2012, Buachaille Etive Beag, Rannoch Moor, West Highlands Photo: © Gordon Anderson
 It is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. Male flowers (as here) with white or pale-pink outer bracts. Female plants (not shown) have deeper pink bracts (the bracts may drop off). Inner disc florets pink to red.


1st June 2012, Buachaille Etive Beag, Rannoch Moor, West Highlands Photo: © Gordon Anderson
Basal leaves spoon-shaped with a pointed end, mid-green on top, furry white with short hairs below.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
A sparse cluster of flowering stems amidst many more basal rosettes of leaves; many without flowering stems as is their characteristic.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are usually in small bunches at the summit only, never just one flower, usually 2, 3 or 4 but there can be as many as up to 8. There are several linear bracts on the single unbranched stem which is white-hairy. This specimen obligingly having fewer white hairs on the stem bracts, so that you can see them more clearly.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The many stem hairs are long but appressed and matted to the stem obscuring its colour, which is pinkish or greenish.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The 'basal rosette' lookee-likees of flowerless plants are scattered in the short moss (the prolonged extreme heat and drought was obviously too much for much of the short grass this year). These are rooting runners from the flowering stalks.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The lowest end of the flowering stem and it's basal rosette. This specimen was amazingly floating in mid-air.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
 Mountain Everlasting is dioecious, with plants bearing either only male flowers or only female flowers. This specimen is female. The female flowers have narrower corollas than the males and the phyllaries (bracts surrounding the floret) are vertical (rather than horizontally at right-angles for male florets).


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
  Female flowers have a great many white styles seen best in the central floret which has fully opened.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
  Female flowers.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
  Female flowers displaying their vertical pink phyllaries around the lower parts of each floret.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
  Female flowers showing the lowest phyllaries which are brownish and more sepal-like (they might be the sepal cup for all your Authour knows). [The longer and linear 'leaves' below are bracts].


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
  Female flowers with their multitude of thin white styles sticking up like a shaving-brush in the centre, forked at the tip into 2 Y-forked stigmas.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
  Male flowers, on the other hand are wider than the female flowers especially at the top where they are flat(ish). Males also lack scales (≡ phyllaries)..


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
  The most advanced male floret also bears an outer ring of stamens which stick up like lit-up candles on a birthday cake.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
  The stamens emerge from conically shaped 'tubes' with 5 'petals' in a circle at the top reflexed backwards. The stamens have a brown sheath with 5 teeth at the top and golden-yellow anthers just poking out at the top bearing golden-yellow pollen. In the centre are a mass of thin white to pink 'threads' which look similar to the white styles of the female flowers but lack the Y-forked stigma at their tops. Two 'lit candles' (stamens) seem to be missing from this flower.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
  The stamens have a brown sheath with 5 teeth at the top and golden-yellow anthers just poking out at the top bearing golden-yellow pollen. Deeper inside each floret bearing a brown stamen a shorter white sheath surrounds the stamen. A few tiny yellow pollen grains can be seen on the petals of the floret on the right.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The leaves creep along the ground. Like a rolled-up newspaper which has been cut lengthways at the top and then pulled out, the leaves similarly emerge at short intervals, curving outwards as they do.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are smooth and mid-green on top but have a dense mat of white hairs underneath.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The leaves emerge at intervals and peel back at short intervals from an extending top.


28th May 2018, Grin Low, Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Hairs densely matted and appressed to the outside side of the extending 'tube' if you can call it that (it isn't a tube).


Not to be confused with : Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea), which belongs to a differing genus within the same Daisy & Dandelion family (Asteraceae).

It is dioecious with male flowers on male plants and female flowers on female plants.

Male flowers have a wider corolla than female flowers and the outer phyllaries (which surround each composite flower) are more horizontal (vertical on female flowers). The male flowers are also slightly convex on top and when ripe have a ring of golden-yellow tipped brown-sheathed stamens which stick up like candles on a birthday cake.

Female flowers are longer but narrower than male flowers with vertical phyllaries at several heights surrounding the numerous white styles which splay out untidily on top (unlike the nicely convex surface of the male flowers which is both wider and tidier apart from the ring of stamens sticking up like lit candles on a birthday cake).

Some similarities to : Thrift (the flowers) and to Colt's-foot (the appressed leaves on the stem).

Somewhat paradoxically perhaps, both male flowers and female flowers bear a pappus (parachute hairs). They both bear pappus with simple hairs, but those of the male flowers widen at their far-ends. One assumes that only pappuses from the female flowers bear viable seeds...

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Grows on dry grassland and on heaths and moors, but mainly in hilly areas, often on mountains, hence the name.

The only member of the Antennaria genus in the UK (about 45 different members worldwide).


  Antennaria dioica  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
 family8Daisy & Dandelion family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Antennaria
Antennaria
(Mountain Everlasting)

MOUNTAIN EVERLASTING

Antennaria dioica

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]