It is not clear whether this plant gets its name from the soft, fuzzy heads of gray flowers, often with pink tips, that it bears in summer or from its woolly gray leaves. In either case, it is a charmer and particularly easy to grow in a rock garden.
Description of pussytoes: The small, woolly leaves, white underneath, form a dense mat across even barren rock surfaces. The stems grow about 2 inches high and spread to about 18 inches. The silvery flowers appear on 10-inch stalks in early to midsummer and are borne in dense clusters. Ease of care: Easy.
Growing pussytoes: This plant is well adapted to full sun and dry, lean soil: conditions similar to those of its natural environment. It will not tolerate competition, so be sure to weed carefully.
Propagating pussytoes: By division in spring or fall.
Uses for pussytoes: This perennial is ideal for planting in cracks and crevices where it will trail over rock faces. It also makes an attractive ground cover for spring bulbs.
Pussytoes related varieties: There are several varieties of pussytoes. A. rosea was once considered a variety of A. dioica but is now given species status. It is similar to Adioica but with entirely pink flowers on a somewhat larger plant. A. rosea and A. dioica are often confused in culture.
Scientific name of pussytoes: Antennaria dioica