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Antennaria dioica - (L.)Gaertn.

Common Name Catsfoot, Stoloniferous pussytoes
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Allergic reaction may occur in subjects sensitive to rag weed, chrysanthemums, marigolds and daisies. May increase blood pressure. Safety during pregnancy is not known [301].
Habitats Mountain grassland, heaths, dry pastures and woodland edges, usually on calcareous soils[9, 13, 17].
Range Northern and central Europe, including Britain, to Siberia and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Antennaria dioica Catsfoot, Stoloniferous pussytoes
Antennaria dioica Catsfoot, Stoloniferous pussytoes


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Antennaria dioica is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from June to July. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). and is pollinated by Apomictic (reproduce by seeds formed without sexual fusion). The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Gnaphalium dioicum. Antennaria hibernica. Antennaria insularis. Cyttarium dioicum.


 Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

None known


Medicinal Uses

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Antitussive  Astringent  Cholagogue  Diuretic  Emollient

Catsfoot has been little used in herbal medicine though it was once used in mixtures for the treatment of bronchitis and bilious conditions[268]. The whole plant is antitussive, astringent, cholagogue, discutient, diuretic and emollient[4, 7, 9, 21]. The plant is very rich in mucilage which makes it very valuable in the treatment of chest complaints[7]. It is also used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder complaints, hepatitis and diarrhoea[238]. Externally it is used as a gargle for treating tonsillitis and as a douche for vaginitis[238]. The herb is gathered in May before it comes into flower and can be dried for later use[7].


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Other Uses

A good ground cover plant for sunny positions. Rather slow to spread, however, and it requires weeding for at least the first year[197]. Plants form a carpet and root as they spread[208].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Ground cover


Cultivation details

Prefers a light well-drained soil in full sun, succeeding in poor soils[1, 133, 200]. Established plants are drought tolerant[190]. This species is very susceptible to slug damage, the young growth in spring is particularly at risk[K]. Tolerates light treading[200]. The flowers are sometimes cut and used as 'everlasting flowers' since they dry well and keep their colour[7]. Plants are usually dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Some male plants have a few hermaphrodite flowers, though these are usually sterile. Apomictic flowers are also produced[17], these produce seed without sexual fertilization, each seedling being a clone of the parent plant. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 9 through 4. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. An evergreen. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is stoloniferous rooting from creeping stems above the ground [1-2].


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Seed - sow spring in cold frame and only just cover the seed. Do not allow the soil to dry out. The seed germinates in 1 -2 months at 15°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in late spring of the following year[K]. Division in spring or autumn. Fairly easy, the divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

jackie smothers   Sun Jul 22 2007

i like this site but i do have question about this herb catsfoot friend told me about it but need to know for sure is this the herb forcleaning out your lungs of flim and tar from smokingand if so where can i get it?

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