Antennaria neglecta (Field Pussytoes)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Genus:Antennaria
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:native
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):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: indistinct Cluster type: round

[photo of flowers] 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.

[photo of female flower] There are separate male and female flowers on different plants. The male flowers are less furry looking and have brown stamens protruding from the white flowers.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of basal leaves] 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.

[photo of stem leaves] 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.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed with plume

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a tiny brown seed. A tuft of white hair is attached to carry it off in the wind.

Notes:

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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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Anoka and Ramsey counties.

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Jana & Chris - Northfield, MN
on: 2011-05-16 07:33:56

Exploring a parcel of land we are purchasing; small colony of Field Pussytoes were located on high, dry island within wet meadow and bordering an affluent of Prairie Creek. Colony size measured no greater than 2' x 2'. Other remnant prairie forbs and grasses also located. (Needs a good burn!) :)

Posted by: Ann - Todd County
on: 2011-05-25 21:33:27

We have a large colony of this in our horse pasture, maybe two acres in size.

Posted by: Jon - Banning State Park
on: 2011-10-16 08:30:34

Found many along the bluffs of the river where there was sunlight most of the day.

Posted by: Sarah - Silverwood Park
on: 2012-05-11 19:12:47

Found by my daughter in an oak savanna understory 5/11/2012.

Posted by: Stephanie - Anoka County
on: 2013-07-13 16:34:28

Found in two places on my property. Both have moderate tree cover with filtered sunlight. One area is prairie type soil, and the other is carpet miss and pine needles. Each area approx. 10 ft by 10 ft.

Posted by: Nancy - Caponi Art Park, Eagan
on: 2014-05-16 12:42:45

Large natural planting on the hill above the snake sculpture.

Posted by: Gabriel - South Minneapolis
on: 2014-06-11 16:16:02

I found these growing in a lawn in St Paul and transplanted some to our property. They're now carpeting part of our hill in front. Their flowers are really cute, and they are great as a groundcover among other taller plants (whorled milkweed, penstemons, pasqueflower, and so on). Today I saw an American Painted Lady butterfly on the plants sticking her eggs onto the leaves. I looked for the eggs and found two. They're really tiny and hard to see. There are also leaves stuck together by silk; I wonder if this is another species at work.

Posted by: Barb - Albert Lea
on: 2015-05-07 08:13:46

Found a circle of Pussytoes growing in the middle of our yard. Cute little flowers. Looked them up in Wildflowers of MN field guide by Stan Tekiela. Info says the plant gives off chemicals that "poison" the soil for other plants. I don't want it to kill the grass that surrounds it. Should I dig it out? In the comments above no one mentions that it is exactly invasive.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2015-05-07 08:52:48

Barb, pussytoes mostly spread vegetatively but co-exist in the wild with other prairie plants rather nicely. In the end, it's all about competition. In a cultivated setting many native species may be a little more aggressive than in the wild, but this is usually manageable. I'd keep it myself, but keep an eye on it to avoid it spreading too far. Having said all that, we've seen many, many cases of a patch of pussytoes in the middle of someone's lawn. Most of these are not more than a couple feet in diameter. You can manage it.

Posted by: Barb - Abert Lea
on: 2015-05-07 10:19:09

Thank you. I will keep it where it is & watch it. Might also transplant some to our cabin area by Marcell, MN

Posted by: Mike - Little Swan
on: 2015-05-22 10:37:29

My dads lawn has become overtaken by pussytoes, any ideas on how to control or eradicate it? Preferably without chemicals

Posted by: Pamela - Oak Grove, Anoka County
on: 2015-06-09 22:04:17

corner of Cedar Creek Dr NW and Cty 9, just off the corner, on the right side as you drive up Cedar Creek there is a patch on the side of the road. I transplanted a tiny bit into a garden and it has taken off. I have noticed the patch off the road has grown a bit. Some neighbors down the road have it in their lawn, also. Nice to see it growing wild.

Posted by: Tamia - Sherburne County/Across from Refuge
on: 2015-06-16 15:32:30

I have several patches and plan on letting them grow. We are converting to a bee/butterfly/low maintenance yard and love the wild flowers.

Posted by: Todd - Pine river
on: 2016-05-13 13:41:16

My neighbors yard has been over taken by pussy toes and is now spreading to my yard. Does anyone know what will kill this plant.I don,t want this plant in my yard, would like to spray it, weeds Be gone does not work.

Posted by: Maria - Staples, MN
on: 2016-05-15 18:50:39

Several places in the yard. Under the oaks is a tightly bunched and almost round clump. Several other spots in the yard in sunnier areas more spead out circular patches. Had to laugh at the name when I found it!

Posted by: Dawn K - Littlefork, Koochiching County
on: 2017-05-10 20:37:02

Two patches, 2' and 6', bloomed around May 9, north- facing slope of riverbank, white blooms

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