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Plants of a wide variety of dry, open or wooded sites, including outcrops or ledges, on thin soil, and on lawns.  Flowers May.  Native.

Three subspecies are represented in our area:
A. howellii
Greene subsp. canadensis (Green) R.J. Bayer
A. howellii
Greene subsp.neodioica (Green) R.J. Bayer
A. howellii
Greene subsp. petaloidea (Fernald) R.J. Bayer
(See below for distinctions between subspecies.)

Perennial.  Colony forming from stolons.  Stolons are leafy, ascending at the tips.  Stems are covered with dense, matted (cobwebby) hairs.  Typical height is from 6" to 12".

Inflorescences consist of tight clusters of unisexual flower heads on very short peduncles, located at the tops of stems.

Flower heads are discoid, typically unisexual (pistillate) and fertile.  Florets are narrowly-tubular, with white corollas.  Ray florets are lacking.  Heads with staminate (male) florets are rarely produced; i.e., plants are capable of producing fruit without fertilization.  Involucral bracts are tipped with dry, thin, white appendages, and coverd with cobwebby hairs.

Spatula-shaped basal rosette leaves are present throughout the season.  Leaves have a single prominent vein, and sometimes also a pair of secondary, less prominent veins.  At maturity, basal leaves approach 2 cm in width.  Stem leaves are smaller, linear in shape, with variable tips.  Lower surfaces of leaves are covered with dense, matted (cobwebby) hairs.  (See below for distinctions between subspecies.)

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1a.  Upper surfaces of basal leaves are bright green and become glabrous early in season.  Tips of uppermost stem leaves end in a thin, dry, papery appendage (a "flag")  . . . . . .  subsp. canadensis.

1b.  Upper surfaces of basal leaves appear gray-green due to covering of matted hairs, but may become nearly glabrous late in the season.  Tips of upper stem leaves end in a firm, short point (i.e., not flagged).

      2a.  Stolons are relatively shorter and leafy.  Basal rosette leaves have well-defined, winged petioles.  At maturity, leaves of stolons are approx. the same size as rosette leaves . . . . . .  subsp. neodioica.

      2b.  Stolons are relatively longer, with few leaves, which tend to be smaller than leaves at tips of stolons.  Basal rosette leaves lack well-defined petioles.  At maturity, leaves of stolons tend to be smaller than rosette leaves . . . . . .  subsp. petaloidea.

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Similar species:  other species in the genus Antennaria, particularly A. neglecta.

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