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Antennaria plantaginifolia (Woman's tobacco)
Cressler, Alan

Antennaria plantaginifolia

Antennaria plantaginifolia (L.) Richardson

Woman's Tobacco, Ladies' Tobacco, Everlasting, Mouse Ear, Plantain-leaf Pussytoes

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

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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 cat's 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

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: Up to about 10 inches tall in bloom. Foliage up to about 2 inches high.
Leaf: Silvery green
Flower: Flowers in 1/4 inch clusters.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Male flowers pure white. Female flowers white tinged with pink.


USA: 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 Conditions

Water 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


Use 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 Insects

Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation Material: Root Division
Maintenance: Cut seedheads for neatness.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Host plants for American Painted Lady larvae in Ohio
June 25, 2009
Need to know what plants to plant as host plants for American Painted lady butterflies have larve coming in mail in few days , live in Vermilion Ohio on the Lake Erie. Thank You for your knowledge Pa...
view the full question and answer

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Antennaria plantaginifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Antennaria plantaginifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Antennaria plantaginifolia


Record Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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