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Solitary Pussytoes, Singlehead Pussytoes - Antennaria solitaria

Family: Asteraceae - Aster family Genus Common Name: Pussytoes Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Antennaria solitaria - Solitary Pussytoes, Singlehead Pussytoes. There are 45 to 70 species in Antennaria worldwide, with over 30 in the United States and Canada, and there is at least one species in every state except Hawaii. Antennaria solitaria is one of six species found east of the Mississippi River, and is the only one in the east with solitary flowers. It is generally a plant of dry woods and openings of the southeastern United States, found as far north as southern Illinois through southern Pennsylvania, and west of the Mississippi with limited distribution in Louisiana. The map to the right shows it also as present in Arkansas and New Jersey, but that is apparently incorrect or perhaps historic. It is rare in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Louisiana.

Found in:
Antennaria solitaria

Distribution of Antennaria solitaria in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 20 Jan 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: GSMNP, Chestnut Top Trail, Blount County, TN Date: 2016-March-21Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Antennaria solitaria is one of the rayless members of Asteraceae. The many disk flowers are white to pale purplish and are tube-shaped. The plants are dioecious - the male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers are on different plants. This is a male plant; all the flowers are staminate.
Antennaria solitaria

Site: GSMNP, Chestnut Top Trail, Blount County, TN Date: 2016-March-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
The leaves of Antennaria solitaria are both basal and caudal. The basal leaves are relatively large, up to about 4 inches long, and the spatulate blades are frequently purplish above and wooly white underneath. They have 3 to 5 nerves (usually 3); all the western solitary Antennaria have a single nerve. The caudal leaves are linear and very bract-like. The flowering stems can be a little over a foot tall, and like the rest of the plant, can be somewhat woolly.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Antennaria solitaria

Site: GSMNP, Schoolhouse Gap Trail, Blount County, TN Date: 2016-March-22Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
While the flowers are solitary on a stem, a given plant may have multiple flowering stems. This photo, unfortunately, doesn't demonstrate that, as these are clearly from two different plants. However, Solitary Pussytoes is stoloniferous, so there is a good chance that both of these plants are from the same vegetative source.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Antennaria solitaria

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2018
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer