Better Know a Host Plant: Pussytoes

Better Know a Host Plant is a series of posts all about common to rare butterfly host plants. Each week during the butterfly season we will feature a host plant that we have experience with, or just find interesting!

Common Name: Pussytoes

Latin Name: Antennaria plantaginifolia

Bloom time: Spring

Spread: 1 ft

Native: Yes

Host Plant: American Lady, Painted Lady

Nectar Plant: Assorted pollinators

Color: White to pink flowers depending upon the species or cultivar

Our Experience: We discovered a patch of pussytoes in our yard a couple of years ago, along with the wild violets and cudweeds. It’s amazing what will grow in our yard if we leave it alone! I think the pussytoes we have are Antennaria neglecta, a relative of Antennaria plantaginifolia. Our patch has not spread much since we allow it to go through its lifecyle. It thrives on our benign neglect. I’ve yet to discover it being used as a host plant. I think the American Ladies are using either cudweed or another host plant. Though it’s not being used to my knowledge, it’s an adorable little plant and the “pussytoes” are so soft and pettable. I will go out and pet them because that’s how I roll.

Pros: Plant is very resilient, tolerates whatever weather and soil conditions are provided by nature. Slow spreading in our yard. Soft flower parts to pet, like a pussywillow.

Cons: None that I can think of.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Basal rosette of Antennaria plantaginifolia grown from seed


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