common cinquefoil

(Potentilla simplex)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

common cinquefoil

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

UPL - Obligate upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

 
Occurrence

 

 
Habitat

Dry. Prairies, open woods, fields, roadsides. This is an understory plant in tallgrass prairies.

 
Flowering

April to June

     
Flower Color

Yellow

     
Height

2 to 12

     

Identification

This is a 2 to 12 tall, erect, ascending, or sprawling, perennial forb that rises from a rhizome. It often forms loose colonies.

The plant is erect at first, reaching up to 12 at first flowering. Later, the stems lean becoming widely ascending. Still later, they arch to the ground and sprawl along the ground with the tip ascending. These runners extend 6 to 20, have long spaces between the nodes, and root at the nodes. Eventually, they root at the tip, and produce a terminal tuber.

The stems are thin, and covered with long, soft, shaggy but unmatted hairs. They are initially green becoming reddish with age.

The leaves are alternate and palmately divided into 5 leaflets. The leaflets are inversely egg-shaped to elliptic, ¾ to 2¾ long, and up to ¾ wide. Young leaflets are narrow with margins curled up. The margins are coarsely toothed except near the base, where the leaflet attaches to the stem. The upper surface is hairless and conspicuously veined. The lower surface is hairy or nearly hairless.

The inflorescence is a single flower rising on a long, thin, hairy stalk from some of the upper leaf axils. The lowest flower usually arises from axil of the second well-developed leaf.

The flowers are 2 5 to 3 5 wide.The 5 petals are yellow, broad, narrow at the base, rounded at the tip, and sometimes slightly notched at the tip.The 5 green sepals are a little shorter than the petals and alternate with the petals. The 5 bractlets are smaller than the sepals, alternate with the sepals, and are hidden below the petals when the flower is viewed from above. There are 20 yellow stamens. There is no floral scent.

 
Similar
Species

Dwarf cinquefoil (Potentilla canadensis) is similar in appearance, but does not occur in Minnesota.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Rosaceae (rose)

 

Subfamily:

Rosoideae

 

Tribe:

Potentilleae

 

Subtribe:

Potentillinae

 
Synonyms

Potentilla simplex var. argyrisma

Potentilla simplex var. calvescens

Potentilla simplex var. typica

 
Common
Names

common cinquefoil

old-field cinquefoil

old-field five-fingers

oldfield cinquefoil

oldfield fivefingers

spreading cinquefoil


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

bractlet

A small, often secondary bract within an inflorescence; a bract that is borne on a petiole instead of subtending it.

 

node

The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate

 

palmately divided

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.

 

rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       

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  Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)  
     
  Potentilla simplex COMMON CINQUEFOIL
Frank Mayfield
 
  Potentilla simplex COMMON CINQUEFOIL  

 

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Other Videos

 
  MyNature Apps; Identifying Common Cinquefoil, Potentilla simplex
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Uploaded on May 31, 2011

How to identify Common Cinquefoil, Potentilla simplex also known as Five Fingers, Five-Finger Blossom, Five-finger grass, Sunkfield, Synkefoyle, Common Cinquefoil, Creeping Cinquefoil, Oldfield Cinquefoil

 
     

 

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