University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants - Plantain-leaved Pussytoes

Plantain-leaved Pussytoes - Photo by Marian Hengemihle

Antennaria plantaginifolia

When faced with difficult dry poor soils, consider pussytoes. There are several species of this native perennial ground cover, whose fuzzy white flower heads resemble the pads on a cat’s paw. It is primarily grown for its semi-evergreen gray-green foliage rather than its spring flowers. The ground-hugging leaves look like tiny plantain, about 4 inches high and 2 inches across. Pussytoes grow in a wide variety of habitats such as rock gardens, slopes, rock walls and between stepping stones. It slowly colonizes into tight patches, happiest in full to part sun and well drained soils. Once established,  pussytoes  are drought tolerant. Deer and rabbits tend to leave it alone. Flowers attract early season pollinators, and it is a larval host plant for the American Lady butterfly. 
May 2012

 

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