#428 Field Pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta)

07 May

A North American species of flowering plants in the daisy family known by the common name field pussytoes. It is widespread across much of Canada (including Northwest Territories plus all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador) as well as the northeastern and north-central United States.[2][3]

Antennaria neglecta is an herb up to 25 cm (10 inches) tall with as many as 8 flowering heads per plant. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants, some populations being composed entirely of female plants.

 It consists of a rosette of basal leaves that form a mat and can be used as a ground cover in small spaces or rock gardens. It also produces flowers on a short stalk in the spring. These flowerheads resemble compact tufts of white hair. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late spring and lasts about 3 weeks. There is no noticeable floral scent. Field Pussytoes spread by means of horizontal stolons that develop small replicas of the mother plant that root in the ground and form dense colonies. The root system consists of a central taproot.

Field Pussytoes prefer partial or full sun and mesic to dry conditions, and well-drained soils. This plant flourishes in dry or shady sites with poor soil that is rocky or contains clay. It can be difficult to grow, but under favorable conditions where the requirements for dry conditions and rocky soil are met, it will spread and be an attractive ground cover.

Some authorities state that this is primarily a wind-pollinated plant, while others emphasize the role of insects in promoting cross-pollination. Primarily small bees and flies visit the flowers, including Halictid bees, Andrenid bees, cuckoo bees (Nomada spp., Sphecodes spp.), Syrphid flies, Muscid flies, Calliphorid flies, and Tachinid flies

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