The common name of this plant accurately describes the white blossoms; they feel soft and rounded like the pads of a kitten’s foot. The flowering stems, mostly less than 15 cm tall, grow out of the dense spreading mat of small grey leaves.
No ethnobotanical use of this plant is recorded. However, Wilkinson reports the closely related species, Antennaria rosea, which has pink or rose coloured flower heads, were used by the Blackfoot. Children chewed the leaves for their favour, and they were incorporated into tobacco mixtures. (241)
Growth habit and range: This plant is a common, mat-forming perennial found on dry, open sites throughout the prairies. It grows to a height of 15–25 cm.
Description: The leaves are basal and spatulate in shape, measuring 1.5 cm in length. The leaves are light grey-green in colour and are densely covered with fine hairs. The stems are upright, bear a few smaller, linear stem leaves and a small cluster of flowers at the tip. Each flower is comprised of whitish disk (tubular) florets and tan bracts. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants. The bloom time is June to July. The fruit is a dry, bristly achene measuring 1–1.5 mm in length.
Wilkinson, Kathleen. 1999. Wildflowers of Alberta: A Guide to Common Wildflowers and Other Herbaceous Plants. University of Alberta Press and Lone Pine Publishing, AB.