downy Parlin’s pussytoes

(Antennaria parlinii ssp. fallax)

Conservation Status
downy Parlin’s pussytoes
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Downy Parlin’s pussytoes is an erect, perennial forb that rises on a basal rosette of leaves and a flowering stem from a rhizome and stolons. It can be from 4 to 17¾ in height, though it is usually no more than 16 tall. It often forms colonies.

The stolons are 1 to 4 long, densely woolly, and leafy. They recline on the ground with the tips ascending. They root at the nodes, forming new plants.

Basal leaves are spoon-shaped, 1 to 3¾ long, and ¾ to 1¾ wide. They are rounded or broadly pointed at the tip, and sometimes have a small, abrupt, sharp point at the tip. They taper gradually to the leaf stalk at the base. There are 3 or 5 prominent veins extending from the base to the broadest part of the blade. The upper surface is moderately to densely covered with white, short, matted or tangled, soft, woolly hairs, giving it a woolly or felt-like texture. It usually becomes less hairy at maturity but not hairless or nearly hairless. The lower surface is densely covered with white, short, matted or tangled, soft, woolly hairs. The hairiness of the lower surface persists at maturity. The margins are untoothed. Basal leaves are often evergreen.

Stem leaves are alternate, linear to narrowly lance-shaped, and 3 16 to 1¾ long. They taper to a sharp point at the tip and attach to the stem at the base without a leaf stalk. The lowermost leaves are often narrowly inversely egg-shaped. The upper leaves often have a short, hairlike extension of the midvein at the tip. The upper and lower surfaces are densely covered with white, short, matted or tangled, soft, woolly hairs.

The flowering stem can be 3½ to 17¾ tall, though it usually reaches no more than 11 in height. It is erect, sparsely leafy, and densely covered with white woolly hairs. It sometimes becomes hairless in patches with age. There are no purple glandular hairs near the top of the stem.

The inflorescence is a tight, round-topped cluster of 4 to 12 flower heads at the end of the stem. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. A population of plants may have both male and female plants, or female plants only.

The whorl of bracts (involucre) subtending a flower head on male (staminate) plants is ¼ to long. The involucre on female (pistillate) plants is 5 16 to ½ long.

The flower heads have 20 to 100 white or pinkish, tubular disk florets and no ray florets. Male florets are to 3 16 long. Female florets are to ¼ long.

The fruit is a small achene with hairs at the tip.

There is no floral scent.




4 to 17¾


Flower Color


White to pinkish


Similar Species


Antennaria parlinii is the only pussytoes species in Minnesota with flowering stems that can be more than 13¾ in height.

smooth Parlin’s pussytoes (Antennaria parlinii ssp. parlinii) stems have purple glandular hairs near the top of the stem. Basal leaves are sparsely hairy or hairless on the upper surface. The hairs on the basal leaves are more cobwebby than woolly. They become hairless or nearly hairless at maturity, not simply less hairy. It is very rare in Minnesota, having been recorded only in Chisago County.

Field pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta) has a shorter flowering stalk, usually no more than 8 tall. The basal leaves are shorter, no more than 2½ long, and narrower, less than ¾ wide. They have only a single prominent vein, occasionally also a faint pair of parallel lateral veins.

Plantain-leaved pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) stolons tend to be shorter, 1 to 3 long. Young stolons are ascending. In pistillate plants the involucre is shorter, 3 16 to ¼ long. In Minnesota, it is found only in the driftless area in the extreme southeast.


Dry to moderate moisture. Open woods, upland prairies, savannas, bluffs.




April to June


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



4, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Asterodae  
  Tribe Gnaphalieae (paper daisies)  
  Subtribe Gnaphaliinae (cudweeds, everlastings, and pussytoes)  
  Genus Antennaria (pussytoes)  
  Species Antennaria parlinii (Parlin’s pussytoes)  

Subordinate Taxa






Antennaria ambigens

Antennaria ampla

Antennaria arkansana

Antennaria arnoglossa var. ambigens

Antennaria bifrons

Antennaria brainerdii

Antennaria callophylla

Antennaria calophylla

Antennaria elliptica

Antennaria fallax

Antennaria fallax var. calophylla

Antennaria farwellii

Antennaria greenei

Antennaria mesochora

Antennaria munda

Antennaria occidentalis

Antennaria parlinii var. ambigens

Antennaria parlinii var. farwellii

Antennaria plantaginifolia var. ambigens

Antennaria umbellata

Antennaria unbellata


Common Names


Parlin’s pussytoes

plantain pussy-toes

plantain-leaved pussytoes

woman’s tobacco









Glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.



A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate.



Referring to a flower that has a female reproductive organ (pistil) but does not have male reproductive organs (stamens).



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.



Referring to a flower that has a male reproductive organs (stamens) but does not have a female reproductive organ (pistil).



An above-ground, creeping stem that grows along the ground and produces roots and sometimes new plants at its nodes. A runner.

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Basal Leaves

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Leaf Underside

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