Antennaria neglecta (Field Pussytoes)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; dry fields, prairies, open woods|
|Bloom season:||April - June|
|Plant height:||4 to 16 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: UPL NCNE: UPL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in a rounded cluster up to 1 inch across at the top of the plant, made up of 2 to 8 grayish white flower heads ¼ to 1/3 inch long. The flower heads look like little shaving brushes, with tiny scaly bracts.
Leaves and stem:
There is a clump of basal leaves near the main stem, but separate from it. Basal leaves are narrowly spatula shaped, up to 2 inches long and averaging ½ inch wide, with a pointed tip and 1 prominent vein down the middle.
Stem leaves are up to 2½ inches long and about ¼ inch wide, toothless, alternately attached with no leaf stem. All leaves are covered in woolly hairs, giving them a gray-green color. The main stem is also covered in woolly hairs. The stem often angles or leans over in the upper part of the plant.
There are 6 species of pussytoes in Minnesota and all are similar. Two distinguishing features are the number of prominent veins, best seen on the back of the basal leaves, and whether the leaves are woolly hairy or relatively hairless. Field Pussytoes has hairy leaves and 1 prominent vein on the leaves, though I've often seen 2 additional faint veins on the back. Plantain-leaved Pussytoes also has woolly leaves, but they are much broader and have 3 to 5 prominent veins. Field Pussytoes may be seen growing alone, but most often in clumps and can create large colonies from spreading rhizomes. Distinguishing characteristics with the other 4 species are TBD.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken in Anoka and Ramsey counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?