There are many who will tell you that California everlasting is a weed. They're wrong. In fact, California everlasting is awesome. A member of the sunflower family, it gets its name from the fact that it appears to be in a state of bloom for... well... a *lasting* period of time. (Most of the fall and winter.) It also smells strongly of maple syrup, and can be brewed to make a traditional indigenous tea. A recipe is here. You'll find clusters of California everlasting thriving in the strangest places, like highway roadsides and parking lots, because it's a hardy plant that requires little water, and thrives in recently disturbed soils that might not be super healthy. For that, it's considered a pioneer specices, and it prepares the ground for other plant species to begin growing. How awesome is that?
You also might recognize California everlasting from my profile page, which features (prominently) a portrait of its blooms. That's just because it's my favorite plant. It was one of the first native species I really learned to "see" when I started studying to become a naturalist, and that my in-training eyes could regularly pull from the otherwise-vast-and-shapeless-mass-of-brown (to me) that constitutes most of California's native plant landscape. All-in-all, it's a shy plant that is easy to overlook unless you know what you are looking for, and then it is so beautiful that it's hard to believe you ever missed it. There's a lesson in that, I am sure.
Anyway, here are some pics of California everlasting to prove to you how pretty it is: