Antennaria plantaginifolia (L.) Richardson
Plantain-leaf Pussytoes, Woman's tobacco, Ladies' tobacco, Everlasting, Mouse ear
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Synonym(s): Antennaria caroliniana, Antennaria decipiens, Antennaria denikeana, Antennaria nemoralis, Antennaria petiolata, Antennaria pinetorum, Antennaria plantaginifolia var. petiolata, Gnaphalium plantaginifolium
USDA Symbol: anpl
A low, colony-forming plant, spreading by runners, with basal leaves and erect stems, each bearing a terminal cluster of fuzzy, rayless flower heads.
The crowded flower heads are thought to resemble a cats paw, hence the common name. Male and the showier female flowers are on different plants. In some species of pussytoes the male flower heads are rare, even unknown, the female flower heads producing seeds without pollination. Most of our many species of Antennaria are difficult to identify, but Plantain-leaf Pussytoes is not a problem, nor is the similar-leaved Single-head Pussytoes (A. solitaria), found from Pennsylvania west to Illinois and south to the Gulf of Mexico; as its common name indicates, each stem bears a single flower head.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: Leaves 2 inches high
Leaf: Silvery green
Flower: Flowers in 1/4 inch clusters
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Male flowers pure white. Female flowers white tinged with pink.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Native Distribution: Quebec and Maine south to Florida, west to Louisiana, and north to Minnesota. Zones 4 to 8.
Native Habitat: Dry open woodlands, meadows, and rocky places.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, acidic, sandy or rocky, poor soils
Conditions Comments: Prefers dry woodlands with light, dappled shade
BenefitUse Ornamental: Groundcover for dryish eastern woodland landscapes in light shade.
Use Wildlife: Winter deer browse
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: No
Value to Beneficial InsectsSupports Conservation Biological Control
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division
Maintenance: Cut seedheads for neatness.
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
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From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Carolina Wild - Anderson, SC
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Antennaria plantaginifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Antennaria plantaginifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Antennaria plantaginifolia
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff