Today I found a Nuttall’s Pussytoes and transplanted it to my herb bed. This little native perennial is not only edible, it is a medicinal.
If Nutall’s Pussytoes likes my raised herb garden, it will spread out by stolens and make a pretty groundcover. I will transplant some of these to my wildflower garden if I find more or this one gets out of bounds.
In any event, it came up right smack in the middle of my cabin location, in 2 inches of gravel on solid rock. Not sure it would make it through so I’m calling it a rescue operation.
In fact, Antennaria are not rare or endangered, but this is the first one I have seen on my property. Likely more this year. This is a western wildflower, and found in all the western states from Texas all the way north to Canada and west to the coastal states. It is also found in the states around the Great Lakes. I found this plant in full sun and transplanted it to full full, but it will take some shade.
Nuttall’s Pussytoes is quite small, a couple inches high. The bloom stalks a will be under 10 inches. The flowers are white, rayless, and look fuzzy like cat toes. The hairy green leaves looked almost translucent among the gray stones.
The leaves are edible and I have never tried one because I never had a big enough patch of them. Maybe I will get a good patch here. Nuttall’s pussytoes was used by First Americans for liver inflammation, hepatitis symptoms, skin sores, and other problems. It was also smoked.
This is a fine native American medicinal plant, and I am glad I saw it before I stepped on it. It is also a nice white plant that sets off other colors very well. It blooms 4 or 5 months, starting in May.
I see Nutall’s Pussytoes as a nice border plant, a a groundcover, a medicinal, and an edible, all in one tiny package. A healthy addition tto my circular economy and Food Forest. Also a good sign that my cold wet winter will deliver more perennial flowers this year.