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Montana Field Guides

Showy Pussytoes - Antennaria pulcherrima

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)
C-value: 7

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Numerous collections from Flathead, Teton, Glacier, Silver Bow, Madison, Lewis & Clark, Pondera, Powell and Beaverhead Counties. Most collections not very old. Many from well-protected sites, as in Glacier NP.
General Description
This perennial species has clustered stems 20-50 cm tall, from a loosely branched rootcrown. The lance-shaped basal leaves have petioles and are up to 15 cm long and 2 cm wide. The stem leaves are alternate, smaller and narrower, and the uppermost do not have petioles. The whole plant is densely whitehairy. The flowering heads are borne in a compact, rounded inflorescence. The individual heads are 5-8 mm high with involucral bracts that are hairy toward the greenish base. The upper portion of the bracts is dark brown or greenish-black.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Easily confused with A. lanata and A. anaphaloides. Antennaria lanata and A. anaphaloides almost always grow in well drained soil, whereas A. pulcherrima grows in wet meadows and other more-or-less constantly moist sites. Antennaria lanata is smaller in all parts and has only one prominent leaf vein. Antennaria anaphaloides tends to be smaller than A. pulcherrima and it has paler phyllaries.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Hummocks, and around shrubs, in swampy or boggy soil. Usually occurs in high-elevation stream valleys.

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus pensylvanicus (Colla and Dumesh 2010).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Haglund, B.M. 1972. Ecological effects of weather modification, Bangtail Ridge, Bridger Range, Montana: relationships of pocket gophers (Thomomys talpoides) to time of snow melt. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 26 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Showy Pussytoes — Antennaria pulcherrima.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from