The everlasting flower is a member of the compositae family, which is most commonly linked with the asteraceae family of flowers. Some of the most frequently seen everlasting flowers are the daisy and sunflower, the strawflower and the gobe amaranthus. What makes the everlasting flower so special is that, as its name implies, these flowers can survive indefinitely when dried. Many of these flower types are bred specifically for the fact that they can be easily dried while still maintaining their general structure and color.
The art of flower preservation goes as far back as our earliest recorded history, and has become a popular hobby in modern times. In the Middle East the bones of prehistoric men were discovered alongside of a mantle of dried flowers. Later in history the Japanese art of flower pressing – or Oshibana – became a big hit in Victorian England. Since then it has traveled from Japan, throughout Europe and into the United States. The everlasting flower, as well as being used for its attractive appearance, has become very popular in alternative medicine, and even in ritualistic incantations. The helichrysum arenarium – which is a small, yellow or white flower that is better known as the immortelle – is sometimes used as an herbal infusion to treat gallbladder disorders and rheumatism, as well as easing stomach pains. The anaphalis flower – which is a member of the daisy family, and is more commonly called the pearly everlasting – is frequently used to promote longevity. This can be done in a number of ways, from drinking it in a tea, to leaving it in small bowls around the house.
The everlasting flower makes a great gift for those who love the delicacy of flowers and wants to keep their beauty alive for as long as possible. These flowers are also given to those who enjoy the dainty appearance of certain types of flowers like the rhodanthe or marigold, but would prefer something a little bit more low-maintenance. Everlasting flowers also make great romantic gifts as, along with the symbolism of the flower itself, you can express the desire to forever keep your relationship strong and beautiful.