IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This native perennial plant is up to 1' tall, but more commonly ½' or less. It consists of a rosette of basal leaves, which sometimes produces an inflorescence on a short stalk during the spring. The basal leaves are up to 2" long and ½" across; they are oblanceolate, with smooth margins. There is a single prominent vein on the upper surface of each basal leaf, while the lower surface is white and hairy. There are small alternate leaves along the pubescent flowering stalk; they are narrowly lanceolate or linear. At the top of each stalk, a plant produces a few flowerheads about 1/3" long that are either staminate or pistillate. 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. The flowerheads are quickly replaced by achenes with small tufts of white hair, which are distributed by the wind. Field Pussytoes spread by means of horizontal stolons that are hairy and have small alternate leaves that are narrowly lanceolate or linear. These stolons develop plantlets that root in the ground, and resemble the mother plant. The root system consists of a central taproot. This plant often forms small colonies.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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