Photograph Description and comments
Antennaria dioica 'Rubra'

5/06/2010 Antennaria dioica attracting an American Painted Lady butterfly. This particular butterfly returned to this plant four times over a ten minute span. It clearly favored this plant over all other flowers blooming in our yard (and there were many). Plant is thought to tolerate USDA Zones 3-9.
5/06/2010 Antennaria dioica flower closeup. The common name of this species is Pussytoes, no doubt named after their soft fuzzy flowers. It is dioecious, where male and female parts occur on different plants. Commonly all male colonies or all female colonies are found. As with all composites, the head is made up of florets. In this species, there are distinct male florets (thick button-shaped style and whiter flowerheads) and female florets (a slender pistil), and occassionally an aberrant floret form that is somewhere in between.
5/06/2010 Antennaria dioica flower closeup. Flowers of the typical species are white, variety 'Rubra' is reddish pink.

In Wisconsin, our native species is Antennaria neglecta and its flowers are white (it grows in our prairie, about 20 feet away from this plant).

6/04/2010 Antennaria dioica with American Painted Lady caterpillar consuming some leaves. This plant is known to be a favorite host of American Painted Ladies.
6/09/2010 Antennaria dioica with fat American Painted Lady caterpillars consuming some more leaves. There were as many as 14 caterpilars on this plant at one time. Almost a feeding frenzy.

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