Antennaria alpina

(Linnaeus) Gaertner

Fruct. Sem. Pl. 2: 410. 1791

Common names: Alpine pussytoes
Synonyms: Antennaria alpina subsp. canescens (Lange) ChmielewskiAntennaria alpina subsp. porsildii (E. Ekman) ChmielewskiAntennaria alpina var. cana Fernald & WiegandAntennaria alpina var. canescens LangeAntennaria alpina var. compacta (Malte) S. L. WelshAntennaria alpina var. glabrata J. VahlAntennaria alpina var. intermedia RosenvingeAntennaria alpina var. porsildii (E. Ekman) T. J. SørensenAntennaria alpina var. stolonifera (A. E. Porsild) S. L. WelshAntennaria alpina var. ungavensis FernaldAntennaria arenicola FernaldAntennaria atriceps A. E. PorsildAntennaria bayardi FernaldAntennaria boecheriana (Trautvetter) E. EkmanAntennaria brevistyla (J. Vahl) GreeneAntennaria brunnescens (Rosenvinge) PorsildAntennaria cana NuttallAntennaria canescens FernaldAntennaria canescens subsp. porsildii (E. Ekman) Á. Löve & D. LöveAntennaria canescens var. pseudoporsildii BöcherAntennaria columnaris A. E. PorsildAntennaria compacta E. EkmanAntennaria confusa FernaldAntennaria crymophila A. E. PorsildAntennaria foggii Ostenfeld ex MalteAntennaria friesiana subsp. compacta (Malte) HulténAntennaria glabrata FernaldAntennaria intermedia FernaldAntennaria labradorica unknownAntennaria longii unknownAntennaria media subsp. compacta (Malte) ChmielewskiAntennaria pallida unknownAntennaria pedunculata unknownAntennaria porsildii unknownAntennaria sornborgeri unknownAntennaria stolonifera unknownAntennaria subcanescens unknownAntennaria ungavensis unknownAntennaria vexillifera unknownAntennaria wiegandii unknown
Basionyms: Gnaphalium alpinum Linnaeus
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



Lower Taxa

No lower taxa listed.

Facts about "Antennaria alpina"
AuthorRandall J. Bayer +
Authority(Linnaeus) Gaertner +
BasionymsGnaphalium alpinum +
Common nameAlpine pussytoes +
DistributionGreenland +, Alta. +, B.C. +, Nfld. and Labr. +, N.W.T. +, Nunavut +, Ont. +, Que. +, Yukon +, Alaska +, Mont. +, Wyo. + and Eurasia. +
Elevation100–2400 m +
HabitatDry to moist alpine tundra +
IllustratorYevonn Wilson-Ramsey +
PhenologyFlowering mid–late summer. +
Publication titleFruct. Sem. Pl. +
Publication year1791 +
ReferenceNone +
Source xml grained fna xml/V19-20-21/V19 678.xml +
SynonymsAntennaria 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 +
Taxon familyAsteraceae +
Taxon nameAntennaria alpina +
Taxon parentAntennaria +
Taxon rankspecies +
VolumeVolume 19 +