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Solitary Pussytoes Antennaria solitaria

Phonetic Spelling
an-ten-AR-ee-uh sol-ih-TAR-ee-a
Description

Antennaria solitaria, or Solitary Pussytoes, is an herbaceous perennial wildflower native to North Carolina and the central and eastern southern states. It is typically found in forests or woodlands on dry, often poor, soil. In North Carolina, it is common to find the plant growing wild in the mountains or Piedmont, but it is rare to find in along the coast. As its common name suggests, this species differs from other pussytoes by the solitary flowering head atop the flowering stalk versus two or more flowering heads in all other Antennaria species.

The plant prefers full sun or light shade and average to dry well-drained acidic soil and will flourish in poor soil that contains sand, rocky material, or clay. It does not do well in fertile, humusy soils, particularly if drainage is poor. It can be difficult to cultivate if soil requirements are not met, but in optimum conditions, it can spread by stolons to form an attractive ground cover.

Diseases, Insect Pests and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect pest issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Rydberg'
'Rydberg'
Tags:
#perennials#white flowers#white leaves#wildlife plants#shade garden#spring flowers#slopes#NC native#dappled sunlight#woolly#groundcover#spring interest#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source spring#food source herbage#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#pollinator garden#audubon#heavy shade tolerant#american lady butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Rydberg'
'Rydberg'
Tags:
#perennials#white flowers#white leaves#wildlife plants#shade garden#spring flowers#slopes#NC native#dappled sunlight#woolly#groundcover#spring interest#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source spring#food source herbage#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#pollinator garden#audubon#heavy shade tolerant#american lady butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Antennaria
    Species:
    solitaria
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South Central and South Eastern United States
    Distribution:
    Pennsylvania to Indiana, south to Georgia and Louisiana.
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) larvae which appear from May to November. In the deep south they will appear all year long. American Lady butterflies feed on flower nectar almost exclusively.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Dense
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit displays from April to June.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Description:
    This plant has a cluster of fuzzy, pussy toe-shaped flowers that blossom from March to May on long stalks. The flowers are white to pale purplish. The plants are dioecious - the male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers are on different plants.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    White
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Basel leaves are 2 to 3 inches long and spoon-shaped and the spatulate blades are frequently purplish above and wooly white underneath. They have 3 to 5 nerves (usually 3). The cauline leaves are linear and very bract-like. New growth is white but changes to green with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The flowering stems can be a little over a foot tall, and like the rest of the plant, can be somewhat woolly.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade