[ev-er-las-ting, -lah-sting]
everlasting or immortelle, names for numerous plants characterized by papery or chaffy flowers that retain their form and often their color when dried and are used for winter bouquets and decorations. Everlastings are usually cut before fully mature and hung head downward to dry in an area away from direct light (to prevent bleaching). Many of the more popular everlastings are of the family Asteraceae (aster family), e.g., the strawflower, pearly everlasting (Anaphalis), winged everlasting (Ammobium), pussy toes (Antennaria), common immortelle (Xeranthemum), and species of Helipterum; the cockscomb and globe amaranth and the thrift (see leadwort) are also used. Several grasses, the bittersweet, and other plants are used as everlastings for their ornamental dried fruits.

Any of several plants that retain their form and colour when dried and are used in dry bouquets and flower arrangements. Popular everlastings include several species of the composite family, especially the true everlastings, or immortelles, species of the genus Helichrysum, native to North Africa, Crete, and the parts of Asia bordering on the Mediterranean and cultivated in many parts of Europe. One of the best-known everlastings is the strawflower (H. bracteatum) of Australia. Many grasses with showy plumes or spikes are classified as everlastings.

Learn more about everlasting with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Everlasting means to be eternal or indestructible. It may also may refer to:

  • Everlasting life, the concept of physical or spiritual immortality


  • Everlasting, common name of all plants in Syncarpha genus of the Asteraceae family
  • Everlasting, common name of the perennial evergreen plant Antennaria howellii





See also

Everlast (disambiguation)

Search another word or see everlastingon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature