Antennaria alpina

(Linnaeus) Gaertner

Fruct. Sem. Pl. 2: 410. 1791.

Common names: Alpine pussytoes
Basionym: Gnaphalium alpinum Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 2: 856. 1753
Synonyms: Antennaria alpina subsp. canescens (Lange) Chmielewski Antennaria alpina subsp. porsildii (E. Ekman) Chmielewski Antennaria alpina var. cana Fernald & Wiegand Antennaria alpina var. canescens Lange Antennaria alpina var. compacta (Malte) S. L. Welsh Antennaria alpina var. glabrata J. Vahl Antennaria alpina var. intermedia Rosenvinge Antennaria alpina var. porsildii (E. Ekman) T. J. Sørensen Antennaria alpina var. stolonifera (A. E. Porsild) S. L. Welsh Antennaria alpina var. ungavensis Fernald Antennaria arenicola Fernald Antennaria atriceps A. E. Porsild Antennaria bayardi Fernald Antennaria boecheriana (Trautvetter) E. Ekman Antennaria brevistyla (J. Vahl) Greene Antennaria brunnescens (Rosenvinge) Porsild Antennaria cana Nuttall Antennaria canescens Fernald Antennaria canescens subsp. porsildii (E. Ekman) Á. Löve & D. Löve Antennaria canescens var. pseudoporsildii Böcher Antennaria columnaris A. E. Porsild Antennaria compacta E. Ekman Antennaria confusa Fernald Antennaria crymophila A. E. Porsild Antennaria foggii Ostenfeld ex Malte Antennaria friesiana subsp. compacta (Malte) Hultén Antennaria glabrata Fernald Antennaria intermedia Fernald Antennaria labradorica Antennaria longii Antennaria media subsp. compacta (Malte) Chmielewski Antennaria pallida Antennaria pedunculata Antennaria porsildii Antennaria sornborgeri Antennaria stolonifera Antennaria subcanescens Antennaria ungavensis Antennaria vexillifera Antennaria wiegandii
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 19. Treatment on page 414. Mentioned on page 390, 395, 408, 411, 412, 413, 415.

Gynoecious (staminate plants uncommon). Plants 3–18 cm. Stolons 1–7 cm. Basal leaves: 1-nerved, spatulate to oblanceolate, 6–25 × 2–7 mm, tips mucronate, abaxial faces tomentose, adaxial green-glabrescent to gray-pubescent. Cauline leaves linear, 5–20 mm, at least mid and distal flagged. Heads 2–5 in corymbiform arrays. Involucres: staminate 5–6.5 mm; pistillate 4–7(–10) mm. Phyllaries distally dark brown, black, or olivaceous. Corollas: staminate 3–3.5 mm; pistillate 3.5–5 mm. Cypselae 1–1.8 mm, sparingly papillate; pappi: staminate 3.5–4 mm; pistillate 4.5–6 mm. 2n = 56, 84, 98, 112.

Phenology: Flowering mid–late summer.
Habitat: Dry to moist alpine tundra
Elevation: 100–2400 m



Greenland, Alta., B.C., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., Nunavut, Ont., Que., Yukon, Alaska, Mont., Wyo., Eurasia.


Antennaria alpina is one of the more morphologically variable agamic complexes in the genus. Some taxonomists have argued that true Antennaria alpina does not occur in North America, because none of the North American material exactly matches the type of A. alpina, which is from Lapland (M. O. Malte 1934; A. E. Porsild 1965). If one uses a strict typological species concept, then this is true; I recognize that this species complex is composed of innumerable apomictic clones and am circumscribing a broad species concept for A. alpina. The potential morphologic overlap between the A. media and A. alpina complexes is a major taxonomic problem. The chief difference between members of the two complexes is the presence of prominent flags on cauline leaves in A. alpina and their absence in A. media. Antennaria alpina of North America is gynoecious and characterized by its dark green to black phyllaries and conspicuous flags on the distal cauline leaves. The basal leaves vary from glabrous, as in the type material, to pubescent. The primary progenitors of the A. alpina complex include A. aromatica, A. densifolia, A. friesiana subsp. alaskana, A. friesiana subsp. neoalaskana, A. monocephala subsp. monocephala, and A. pulchella.

Excluded names:

Some Antennaria names are based on early-generation interspecific hybrids, including:

Antennaria ×erigeroides Greene = A. corymbosa × A. racemosa

A. ×foliacea Greene = A. microphylla × A. racemosa

A. ×macounii Greene = A. media × A. umbrinella

A. ×oblancifolia E. E. Nelson = A. racemosa × A. umbrinella

A. ×rousseaui A. E. Porsild = ? A. alpina × A. rosea

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Antennaria alpina"
Randall J. Bayer +
(Linnaeus) Gaertner +
Gnaphalium alpinum +
Alpine pussytoes +
Greenland +, Alta. +, B.C. +, Nfld. and Labr. +, N.W.T. +, Nunavut +, Ont. +, Que. +, Yukon +, Alaska +, Mont. +, Wyo. +  and Eurasia. +
100–2400 m +
Dry to moist alpine tundra +
Flowering mid–late summer. +
Fruct. Sem. Pl. +
Antennaria alpina subsp. canescens +, Antennaria alpina subsp. porsildii +, Antennaria alpina var. cana +, Antennaria alpina var. canescens +, Antennaria alpina var. compacta +, Antennaria alpina var. glabrata +, Antennaria alpina var. intermedia +, Antennaria alpina var. porsildii +, Antennaria alpina var. stolonifera +, Antennaria alpina var. ungavensis +, Antennaria arenicola +, Antennaria atriceps +, Antennaria bayardi +, Antennaria boecheriana +, Antennaria brevistyla +, Antennaria brunnescens +, Antennaria cana +, Antennaria canescens +, Antennaria canescens subsp. porsildii +, Antennaria canescens var. pseudoporsildii +, Antennaria columnaris +, Antennaria compacta +, Antennaria confusa +, Antennaria crymophila +, Antennaria foggii +, Antennaria friesiana subsp. compacta +, Antennaria glabrata +, Antennaria intermedia +, Antennaria labradorica +, Antennaria longii +, Antennaria media subsp. compacta +, Antennaria pallida +, Antennaria pedunculata +, Antennaria porsildii +, Antennaria sornborgeri +, Antennaria stolonifera +, Antennaria subcanescens +, Antennaria ungavensis +, Antennaria vexillifera +  and Antennaria wiegandii +
Antennaria alpina +
Antennaria +
species +