SEARCH AND WILDFLOWER HOME PAGE    WHITE FLOWERS    CONTACT US

These are native species.

Antennaria anaphaloides

Antennaria anaphaloides (Pearly Pussytoes)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine, alpine. Meadows, woods, shrub communities. Summer.
Lizard Head Meadows, June 26, 2020.

Antennaria anaphaloides fooled Betty and me into thinking it was a bit of an oddity of Anaphalis margaritacea, Pearly Everlasting. But we noted it was growing singly rather than in tight patches; the green of the leaves was just not that special light green of Pearly Everlasting; and the flower head just didn't look right, especially those spots on the phyllaries. When we keyed the plant at home it was with a smile that we noted its specific epithet, "anaphaloides", means "similar to anaphalis".

This species is also very similar to Antennaria pulcherrima, which is at its southernmost limits in southern Colorado. See the flowerhead photographs below.

Rydberg and Bessy discovered this species for science in Montana in 1897 and in 1900 Rydberg named and described the new species.

The specimens in these photographs are new county records for Dolores County, Colorado.

Antennaria anaphaloides

Antennaria anaphaloides (Pearly Pussytoes)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine, alpine. Meadows, woods, shrub communities. Summer.
Lizard Head Meadows, June 26, 2020.

Basal leaves are oblanceolate to elliptic, and cauline leaves are similar, and they are few, alternate, petiolate or not, and reduced in size upward.

Leaves are often 3-5 veined.

The species is not mat-forming or stoloniferous but is rhizomatous, and stems can be solitary or in small tufts.

Antennaria anaphaloides

Antennaria anaphaloides

Antennaria anaphaloides and Antennaria pulcherrima (Pearly Pussytoes)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine, alpine. Meadows, woods, shrub communities. Summer.
Lizard Head Meadows, June 26, 2020.

Antennaria anaphaloides and A. pulcherrima are so similar that some botanists consider them to be one species or perhaps A. pulcherrima var. anaphaloides and A. pulcherrima var. pulcherrima.

Almost all floras agree that A. anaphaloides is a species of "Dry meadows and aspen forest openings" (FNA). A. pulcherrima is said to be of "wet sites, willow thickets" (FNA). The FNA gives three other characteristics fairly well agreed on by other floras: pistillate pappus hairs of A. anaphaloides are 3.5-4.5 mm, whereas those of A. pulcherrima are 8-10 mm. Pistillate corollas of A. anaphaloides are 3-4.5 mm, whereas those of A. pulcherrima are 3-6 mm. And finally, phyllaries of A. anaphaloides are "white or cream" whereas those of A. pulcherrima are dingy: "distally black, dark brown, light brown, castaneous, or olivaceous".

The above distinctions fit the plants shown in the two photographs at left of A. anaphaloides and the one below of A. pulcherrima. The Andrews Lake specimen shown below is from a population that is a county record for San Juan County, Colorado.

Antennaria pulcherrima

Antennaria pulcherrima (Handsome Pussytoes)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Montane, subalpine. Wet meadows, streamsides. Summer.
North of Andrews Lake, August 7, 2023.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Antennaria anaphaloides

Range map for Antennaria anaphaloides

Antennaria pulcherrima

Range map for Antennaria pulcherrima