Dioecious or gynoecious (staminate plants in equal frequencies as pistillates or none in populations, respectively). Plants 12-35(-45) cm. Stolons 3.5-11(-14) cm (mostly decumbent when young). Basal leaves 3-5-nerved, obovate-spatulate, obovate, rhombic-obovate, or suborbiculate, 30-95 × 12-45 mm, tips mucronate, faces gray-pubescent to floccose-glabrescent. Cauline leaves oblong-lanceolate, 3.5-45 mm, distalmost flagged. Heads 4-12(-15) in tight corymbiform arrays. Involucres: staminate 6-9 mm; pistillate (7-)8-13 mm. Phyllaries distally white. Corollas: staminate 3.5-5 mm; pistillate 4-7 mm. Cypselae 1-2 mm, minutely papillate; pappi: staminate 4-5 mm; pistillate 5-8 mm. 2n = 56, 84, 70, 112.
The Antennaria parlinii complex consists of two fairly distinct subspecies that differ in induments of basal leaves (tomentose in subsp. fallax; glabrous in subsp. parlinii) and other characters (R. J. Bayer and G. L. Stebbins 1982). Antennariaparlinii is the most common eastern North American species (Bayer and Stebbins 1982, 1983). This complex of polyploid sexual and apomictic populations is the result of multiple hybridizations among sexual diploid species including A. plantaginifolia, A. racemosa, and A. solitaria (Bayer 1985b; Bayer and D. J. Crawford 1986). A. Cronquist (1945; H. A. Gleason and Cronquist 1991) included A. parlinii within his circumscription of A.plantaginifolia. By not including the hybrid poly-ploid within the circumscription of a single one of its sexual progenitors, the circumscription here better portrays the evolutionary relationships between A. parlinii and its sexual progenitors.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = 3
Wetland Indicator Status: N/A
Diagnostic Traits: Stoloniferous; larger leaves >1.5 cm wide, having a prominent mid-vein flanked by one or more pairs of lateral veins; flower stalks with 2 or more heads; phyllaries whitish distally, the involucre of female heads >7 mm high; ray flowers lacking. Population maybe sexual and apomictic. This common species has two subspecies in Indiana: subsp. fallax and parlinii.