Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium (Sweet Everlasting)
|Also known as:||Cat-foot, Rabbit-tobacco, Fragrant Cudweed|
|Life cycle:||annual, biennial|
|Habitat:||sun; sandy soil, dry prairies, roadsides|
|Bloom season:||July - October|
|Plant height:||6 to 30 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Numerous small clusters of ¼-inch bud-like flowers on many branching stems in the upper part of the plant. What appears to be several layers of many tiny white petals on the egg-shaped flower are actually bracts; the disc flower parts are indistinct, seen at the tip and are yellow to brownish. The bracts spread out and fall off as the seed ripens.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are narrow, 1 to 3 inches long and to 1/3 inch wide, woolly underneath, sometimes sparsely hairy on the upper surface becoming hairless with age, toothless, typically wavy around the edges, with a blunt tip and no leaf stalk. Stems are covered in white woolly hair.
Notes:Sweet Everlasting flower heads resemble Pussytoes (Antennaria spp.), which bloom in spring. Another similar species is Clammy Cudweed (Pseudognaphalium macounii), which has broader, clasping leaves and is found only in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota. Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) is also similar, but has more globular flower heads with more distinct central flower parts, and are in more flat-topped clusters. Latin name Gnaphalium obtusifolium is used for Sweet Everlasting in some references, such as the Newcomb and Peterson field guides, but is now outdated.
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Photos taken at Wild River State Park, Chisago County, Battle Creek Regional Park, Ramsey County, and Hastings Sand Coulee SNA, Dakota County
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?