Antennaria arida visci E.E.Nelson
Antennaria hibernica Braun-Blanq.
Antennaria hyperborea D.Don
Antennaria insularis Greene
Antennaria microphylla Gand.
Antennaria montana Gray
Antennaria parvifolia rosea (D.C.Eaton) Greene
Antennaria rosea decipiens B.Boivin
Chamaezelum dioicum Link
Cyttarium dioicum Peterm.
Gnaphalium alpinum Asso ex DC.
Gnaphalium boreale Turcz. ex DC.
Gnaphalium dioica L.
Gnaphalium dioicum L.
Gnaphalium hyberboreum Winch ex DC.
Gnaphalium pes-cati Garsault
Common Name: Catsfoot
Antennaria dioica is a perennial plant growing from a woody rootstock. The plant forms a rosette of leaves from which several offsets develop - these root to form a mat of low growth. Each rosette produces one or more flowering stems from 3- 30cm tall[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is often grown as an ornamental, making a good ground cover. The flowers are sometimes cut and used as 'everlasting flowers' since they dry well and keep their colour[
Widespread in temperate regions of Europe and northern and central Asia from the Atlantic Ocean to northern China and Japan; N. America - Alaska
Mountain grassland, heaths, dry pastures and woodland edges, usually on calcareous soils[
]. Dry slopes on tundra, meadows, conifer forests; at elevations from 600 - 2,700 metres in northern China[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a light well-drained soil in full sun, succeeding in poor soils[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
This species is very susceptible to slug damage, the young growth in spring is particularly at risk[
Tolerates light treading[
Often grown as an ornamental, named forms have been developed.
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[
], these produce seed without sexual fertilization, each seedling being a clone of the parent plant.
Catsfoot has been little used in herbal medicine though it was once used in mixtures for the treatment of bronchitis and bilious conditions[
The whole plant is antitussive, astringent, cholagogue, discutient, diuretic and emollient[
]. The plant is very rich in mucilage which makes it very valuable in the treatment of chest complaints[
]. It is also used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder complaints, hepatitis and diarrhoea[
Externally, the plant is used as a gargle for treating tonsillitis and as a douche for vaginitis[
The herb is gathered in late spring, before it comes into flower, and can be dried for later use[
A good ground cover plant for sunny positions. Rather slow to spread, however, and it requires weeding for at least the first year[
]. Plants form a carpet and root as they spread[
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[
Division in spring or autumn. Fairly easy, the divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.