Plantain-Leaf Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Plantain-Leaf Pussytoes
Give a thumbs up Everlasting
Give a thumbs up Pussytoes
Give a thumbs up Dog Toes
Give a thumbs up Four Toes
Give a thumbs up Ladies' Tobacco
Give a thumbs up Mouse Ear
Give a thumbs up Woman's Tobacco
Give a thumbs up Poverty Weed
Give a thumbs up White Plantain

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 12 inches
Plant Spread: 18 inches
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Other: Leaves are gray-green and covered with woolly hairs.
Fruiting Time: Late spring or early summer
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Inflorescence Height: 8-12 inches
Foliage Mound Height: 1-4 inches
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Erosion control
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Butterflies
Other Beneficial Insects: Leaves are host to the caterpillars of the American Painted Lady butterfly.
Resistances: Tolerates foot traffic
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Stolons and runners
Pollinators: Flies
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Steven J. Baskauf

This plant is tagged in:

Posted by Cyclaminist (Minneapolis, Minnesota - Zone 5a) on May 20, 2016 2:15 PM

Provides food for American painted lady butterflies (Vanessa virginiensis:, http://www.butterfliesandmoths...). They lay tiny white eggs on the leaves in spring. The caterpillars hatch and build tents or shelters by stretching silk between the leaves to try to protect themselves from predators. The pussytoes may have most of their leaves eaten, but they usually survive and send out hundreds of new leaves after the caterpillars are gone.

I must have too many wasps in my yard, since I don't see many caterpillars survive to create a chrysalis and transform into a butterfly. It might help if I limited the numbers of flowers that attract wasps, like Spotted Beebalm (Monarda punctata) and Virginia Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum). I've seen wasps poking their abdomens into the pussytoes leaves, presumably to lay eggs on the caterpillars.

I think this is the largest-leaved pussytoes species. It seems to prefer moister soils than, and tolerates a little more shade. I grow it between taller plants in a (rather dry) rain garden.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Dec 3, 2013 5:46 AM

This native wildflower grows best in lean, gritty, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. Prefers full sun. It does not do well in fertile soils with lots of humus, particularly if drainage is poor.

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Plant Events from our members
MrsBinWY On February 4, 2017 Seeds sown
coffee filter in baggy in fridge, C(60), D, from docmom (from Prairie Moon); jugged 4-15-17; no germination as of 12-3-17
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
is my grandma crazy ? by aryboo04 Mar 17, 2019 3:30 AM 3
Has anyone renovated their entire yard? by SkipNJ Jan 15, 2018 1:11 PM 15
White-flowered plant, possible U.S. native by Muddy1 Apr 17, 2017 4:25 PM 20
Help identifying which pussytoes by wildflowers Mar 12, 2017 11:12 AM 5
August 2015 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Sep 1, 2015 12:28 PM 565
unknown wildflower by jmorth Apr 29, 2013 4:58 AM 6

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