common cinquefoil

(Potentilla simplex)

Conservation Status
common cinquefoil
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  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

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Common cinquefoil 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.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

2 to 12

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Yellow

 
     
 

Similar Species

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

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

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

April to June

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 30.

 
  11/19/2018      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

 

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Subclass Rosidae  
  Superorder Rosanae  
 

Order

Rosales (roses, elms, figs, and allies)  
 

Family

Rosaceae (rose)  
  Subfamily Rosoideae  
  Tribe Potentilleae (strawberries, cinquefoils, and allies)  
  Subtribe Potentillinae  
 

Genus

Potentilla (cinquefoil)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

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, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

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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Plant

  common cinquefoil   common cinquefoil
       

Flower

  common cinquefoil   common cinquefoil
       

Leaves

  common cinquefoil    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  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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About

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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