Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
(also immortelles), plants of several genera (Helichrysum, Helipterum, and others) of the family Compositae. The flower calathides of everlastings are surrounded by brightly colored membranous or filmy leaflets that do not change color or shape when dried. They are used as long-lived winter bouquets, wreaths, and garlands. The most common genus, Helichrysum, consists of about 500 species in the hot and temperate zones of Europe and Asia, and especially in South Africa and Australia; in the USSR there are more than 15 species. An infusion, a liquid extract, and a dry concentrate of the incompletely opened calathides of the sandy everlasting are used as a choleretic in inflammations of the gall bladder and liver; it is used in a choleretic tea. Many species of Helichrysum, Gnaphalium, and Xeranthemum are widespread in floriculture. The last has six species in the Mediterranean regions and five in the USSR, including X. annuum (southern USSR). Other common everlastings are Ammobium (cultivated, A. alatum) and Helipterum, which contains about 60 species in South Africa, Australia, on the island of Tasmania (cultivated, H. manglesii, or Rhodanthe manglesii, and H. roseum, or Acroclinium roseum).
O. M. POLETIKO