Ozarks Spring Wildflowers: Pussy Toes

Female pistillate flowers of Pussy Toes, Antennaria plantaginifolia.

Female, or pistillate, flowers of the dioecious Antennaria plantaginifolia.


Down underneath the leaf litter of the forest floor the basal leaves of Pussy Toes begin to peek through. You start to notice these rosettes of silvery green leaves. Soon you see there are buds poking through and pushing up on a stalk. After a week or so you begin to see where Pussy Toes gets its name. The little flowers on the ends of the stalks are a bit fuzzy and resemble the little toes of kittens.

Male staminate flowers of Pussy Toes, Antennaria plantaginifolia, a wildflower which grows in the Ozarks.

Male, or staminate, flowers of the dioecious Antennaria plantaginifolia.

Antennaria is actually a dioecious plant, which means that separate plants have male and female flower parts. Above you can see the female pistillate flowers and also the male stamenate flowers.

Pussy Toes grows in well drained, dry, sunny areas like along the edges of roads and trails and near glades.

Mature flowers of Pussy Toes, Antennaria plantaginifolia

The flower heads are held on a stalk above the basal rosette of flowers. Pussy Toes, Antennaria plantaginifolia.

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