Fuzzy White Flowers in Lawn – Small Pussytoes

2016 August 27

These were very plentiful at the east end of our lawn on May 26, 2016. The spot with the greatest number is a nutrient-poor area with shallow topsoil that floods during the spring melt, but then dries up to the point where it barely even supports grass.


The flowers are white and fuzzy-looking, and stand about 4-6 inches above the ground.


The leaves form a flat rosette close to the ground, and are one of those low plants that nobody gives a second look except when they are blooming.


These look like the Small Pussytoes, Antennaria howellii. It is easy to see how they get the name “Pussytoes”, the blossoms really do look quite a lot like a kitten’s toes. They are a native plant species, and according to Wikipedia the plants in this genus are common host plants for Painted Lady caterpillars. Because of their low growth habit when they aren’t blooming, they do well in lawns where all the competitors get lopped off short on a regular basis. They are related to a lot of plants that produce a foul-tasting latex, so it would not surprise me at all if these taste nasty as well.

2 Responses
  1. August 27, 2016

    Super cool blog. I found it looking through a list of “50 top blogs” and yours came up. I’m looking forward to reading some of the other posts and articles you have on here. Carry on!

  2. August 29, 2016

    One of the 50 top blogs? Outstanding!

    And indeed, they are the kind of plant that one would pass by if not blooming.

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