field pussytoes

(Antennaria neglecta)

Conservation Status
field pussytoes
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


UPL - Obligate upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

UPL - Obligate upland


Field pussytoes is an erect, perennial forb that rises on a basal rosette of leaves and a flowering stem from fibrous roots and stolons. It often forms colonies.

The stolons are 1 to 7 long, slender, densely wooly, and leafy. They recline on the ground with the tips ascending. They root at the nodes, forming new plants.

Basal leaves are narrowly inversely lance-shaped to narrowly inversely egg-shaped or narrowly spoon-shaped, 1 to 2½ long, and ¼ to 11 16 wide. They are rounded or broadly pointed at the tip, and have an abrupt, short, sharp point at the tip. They taper gradually to the leaf stalk at the base. The upper surface is gray and moderately to densely covered with short, matted or tangled, soft, woolly hairs. It becomes green and hairless or nearly hairless with age. The lower surface is densely covered with short, matted or tangled, soft, woolly hairs. The hairiness of the lower surface persists at maturity. There is 1 prominent vein extending from the base to the tip, visible at least on the underside. Occasionally there is also a faint pair of parallel lateral veins. The margins are untoothed.

Stem leaves are alternate, linear to narrowly oblong lance-shaped, and 5 16 to 1 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 lance-shaped. Middle and upper leaves have a short, hairlike extension of the midvein at the tip. The upper and lower surfaces are densely covered with short, matted or tangled, soft, woolly hairs.

The flowering stem can be 1½ to 12 tall, though it usually reaches no more than 8 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 dense cluster of 2 to 8 flower heads at the end of the stem. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. A colony of plants may have all male plants or all female plants.

The whorl of bracts (involucre) subtending a male flower head is to ¼ long. The involucre subtending a female flower head is ¼ to long. The tips on the involucral bracts are white.

The flower head is ¼ to ½ in diameter. It has 20 to 100 or more white or yellow, tubular disk florets and no ray florets. Male florets are to 3 16 long. They have 5 stamens with white filaments and brownish-purple anthers. The corollas are obscured by the numerous stamens. Female florets are to ¼ long. They have one style with a forked, purplish tip. The corollas are obscured by the numerous styles. There is no floral scent.

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




1½ to 8


Flower Color


White or yellow


Similar Species


Parlin’s pussytoes (Antennaria parlinii) has a taller flowering stalk, up to 6 tall. The basal leaves are longer and wider. They have 3 to 5 main, parallel veins that are prominent at least on the underside to the broadest part of the leaf.

Plantain-leaved pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) has shorter, wider, spoon-shaped basal leaves, each with 3 to 5 conspicuous veins. It's range in Minnesota is restricted to the southeast corner of the state.


Dry to moderate moisture. Fields, woods, prairies.




April to June




Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 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)  
  Genus Antennaria (pussytoes)  

Subordinate Taxa




Antennaria angustiarum

Antennaria athabascensis

Antennaria campestris

Antennaria campestris var. athabascensis

Antennaria chelonica

Antennaria erosa

Antennaria howellii var. athabascensis

Antennaria howellii var. campestris

Antennaria longifolia

Antennaria lunellii

Antennaria nebraskensis

Antennaria neglecta var. athabascensis

Antennaria neglecta var. campestris

Antennaria parvula

Antennaria rousseaui

Antennaria wilsonii


Common Names


cat’s foot

field pussytoes












Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.


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.



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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Pussytoes (Anthennaria neglecta)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Pussytoes (Anthennaria neglecta)  
Antennaria neglecta CAT'S PAW
Frank Mayfield
  Antennaria neglecta CAT'S PAW  



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Other Videos
  Field Pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta)
Wandering Sole TV

Published on Dec 3, 2014

Field Pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta) of the Asteraceae (Aster, Sunflower) family growing in the East Kootenays of British Columbia.

  MyNature Apps; Identifying Field Pussytoes, Antennaria neglecta

Uploaded on May 29, 2011

How to identify Field Pussytoes, Antennaria neglecta. Also known as Pointed Little-leaf Pussytoes, Cat's Foot.

  How to identify Antennaria neglecta, field pussytoes
NY Flora

Published on Apr 14, 2012

Plant characters to look for when identifying this species. Narrated by Steve Young.






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