Antennaria parvifolia

Antennaria parvifolia is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, known by the common names Nuttall's pussytoes and small-leaf pussytoes (not to be confused with littleleaf pussytoes). It is native to western and central North America.

Antennaria parvifolia
Antennaria parvifolia.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Antennaria
A. parvifolia
Binomial name
Antennaria parvifolia
  • Antennaria aprica Greene
  • Antennaria aureola Lunell
  • Antennaria holmii Greene
  • Antennaria latisquamea Greene 1905 not Piper 1901
  • Antennaria minuscula B.Boivin
  • Antennaria obtusata Greene
  • Antennaria pumila Greene
  • Antennaria recurva Greene
  • Antennaria rhodantha Suksd.


Antennaria parvifolia generally grows a few centimeters high but it may reach 15 cm (6 inches).[2] The grayish, woolly-haired leaves are up to 3.5 cm (1+12 in) long, the upper ones shorter and narrower than the basal. The inflorescence contains 2 to 7 flower heads, each about 1.5 cm (12 in) across and blooming from July and September.[2] The plant may be gynoecious, containing only female flowers, or dioecious, with some female plants and some male in a given population. Dioecious plants are most common in Colorado and New Mexico,[3] and can reproduce sexually, though male plants are much less common than female.[4] Plants in most other areas are mostly gynoecious, reproducing asexually via apomixis.[3] The plant forms mats by spreading stolons and sprouting new stems.[4] The flower heads are lined with an outer layer of phyllaries which are translucent except at the base, where they vary from white, red, green, and brown.[2][3] The fruit is an achene with a pappus that helps it disperse on the wind.[3]

Features that distinguish the species from other members of Antennaria include the clustered basal leaves and the near absence of dark bases on the backs of the flower bracts.[2]

Distribution and habitatEdit

The species is native to western and central North America and widespread in Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico—from British Columbia east to Ontario and south to California, Chihuahua, and Nuevo León.[3][5][6] It has not been observed in California since 1987.[4]

It can be found in open and dry areas such as plains and openings in forests.[2]


In Colorado, the species is an indicator of overgrazing and increases in frequency on heavily grazed land. It grows in disturbed habitat and a wide variety of ecosystems and soil types.[4]


  1. ^ The Plant List Antennaria parvifolia Nutt.
  2. ^ a b c d e Spellenberg, Richard (2001) [1979]. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Western Region (rev ed.). Knopf. pp. 354–355. ISBN 978-0-375-40233-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e Antennaria parvifolia. Flora of North America.
  4. ^ a b c d Fryer, Janet L. 2011. (Revised from Matthews, Robin F. 1993.) Antennaria parvifolia. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.
  5. ^ Antennaria parvifolia. USDA Plants Profile.
  6. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map

External linksEdit