Pussypaws might be small in stature, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with abundant pollen and nectar that attracts a wide variety of pollinating insects, including butterflies, bees, wasps, flies and beetles. Insect visitation is necessary for good seed set. The dense, white to pinkish umbel flower clusters are said to resemble the underside of a cat’s foot, hence the common name pussypaws. The flowering stems of pussypaws will lay flat when it’s cold out, but may lift off the ground during the heat of the day, aiding in seed dispersal in warm afternoon wind.
Pussypaws is a rosette forming perennial wildflower most often found in montane environments at mid to high elevations, including yellow pine forest, red fir forest, subalpine forest, montane chaparral, alpine fell-fields, and montane meadows and ridgelines. It is often found growing in harsh environments, including open, dry, sandy or gravelly soils. It happily grows in the well drained and dry decomposed granite, serpentine or schist soils in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains.
Pussypaws is in the purslane family (Portulacaceae), and is native from British Columbia south through the American West.
Flora of North America describes this species under Cistanthe umbellata.
Pussypaws (Calyptridium umbellatum) seed packets contain approximately 675 seeds.
Seed Germination Instructions
30 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall to early spring.