[The Pussytoes of the Columbia River Gorge]

Field Pussytoes, Howell's Pussytoes, Howell's Everlasting

Antennaria howellii ssp. howellii

Synonyms: Antennaria neglecta ssp. howellii, Antennaria neglecta var. howellii, Antennaria neodioica ssp. howellii

Inflorescence of Field Pussytoes, Howell's Pussytoes, Howell's Everlasting: Antennaria howellii ssp. howellii

The photo above shows a close-up view of the opening inflorescence of Howell's pussytoes (var. howellii?) as photographed atop Potato Hill several miles to the north of Mt. Adams................July 22, 2005. Note the white involucral bracts.

Characteristics:

Howell's pusy-toes are perennial wildflowers with floral scapes arising 20-30 cm high from leafy stolons of the previous year's growth. The stems are loosely covered with matted to tufted hairs. The basal leaves are ovate, obovate, or oblanceolate in outline, measuring 3-6 cm long. The lower surface is densely covered with white, matted hairs and the upper surface either entirely glabrous or with at least a few long hairs when young, depending on the variety (See varieties below.). The leaves of the stem are much narrower.

The inflorescence is fairly open and consists of several to over a dozen narrow flower heads. The involucres are 8-9 mm high with the ouer bracts lossely covered with woolly hairs, the innermost or upper bracts are glabrous. The lower bracts are tinged with brown or red near the base while the uppermost are whitish. The flowers are imperfect, with the staminate and pistillate flowers found on separate plants


Varieties of Howell's Pussytoes:

var. howellii - Upper surface of the leaf blades always green and lacking hairs, even when young.

var. neodioica (formerly var. attenuata) - Upper surface of the leaf blades initially sparsely long-hairy when young, later becoming completely glabrous with age.


Habitat:

Howell's pusstyoes may be found on sunny , rocky slopes and road cuts in forest openings.


Range:

Howell's pussytoes may be found from the Yukon east to Newfoundland and south to California and east to Virginia and Arizona.

In the Columbia River Gorge, variety howellii may be found between the elevations of 100'-4200' from near Cape Horn east to near the Wind River. Variety neodioica may be found between the elevations of 100'-4400' from near Crown Point eastward to near the White Salmon River.


Inflorescence of Field Pussytoes, Howell's Pussytoes, Howell's Everlasting: Antennaria howellii ssp. howellii -- Basal leaves of Field Pussytoes, Howell's Pussytoes, Howell's Everlasting: Antennaria howellii ssp. howellii

Close-ups of the inflorescence and basal leaves of field pussytoes seen along the Angels Rest trail in the Columbia River Gorge...................May 18, 2009.

Stem leaf of Field Pussytoes, Howell's Pussytoes, Howell's Everlasting: Antennaria howellii ssp. howellii

The photo above shows a close-up view of a stem leaf of Howell's pussytoes as photographed atop Potato Hill to the north of Mt. Adams................July 12, 2005.

Basal leaves of Field Pussytoes, Howell's Pussytoes, Howell's Everlasting: Antennaria howellii ssp. howellii

The photo above shows a close-up of of the basal leaves of Howell's pussytoes as seen atop Potato Hill which is several miles north of Mt. Adams................July 12, 2005. Note the green, glabrous upper leaf surface and the white, hairy undersides.

Paul Slichter