An adorable colony-forming groundcover, this plant is less than four inches tall when not in flower or producing seed. Flowers are produced on long slender stems (April-June), appearing as small tufts of white very reminiscent of a blunt paintbrush: these flowers are what give Pussytoes their common name (somewhat resembling the toes of cats). Plants are dioecious, and male flowers also produce long brown stamens, giving a slightly less fuzzy appearance. Seeds are wind-distributed, like miniature versions of dandelion seeds, but don't typically spread into unwanted areas. Leaves are covered with woolly hair, giving them an attractive silvery look, and plants spread slowly by rhizomes, non-aggressively filling out as a groundcover over time. Tolerant of shallow soil, disturbed areas, rocky or sandy soil, and drought. Requires good drainage, host plant of the American Painted Lady Butterfly caterpillar (Vanessa virginiensis).
Native Range: ME south to the mountains of NC, across to CA excluding AR, MO, and OK. Native to Canada except NU and NL. Rare in NC and WV
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