Showy Cinquefoil

    Showy Cinquefoil

    Common Name(s):

    Showy Cinquefoil
    Slender Cinquefoil

    Scientific Name:

    Potentilla gracilis Dougl. ex Hook.

    Scientific Name Synonyms:

    None Known




    Life Span: Perennial

    Origin: Native

    Growth Characteristics: Showy Cinquefoil is a showy, late spring blooming perennial that can grow up to 2 feet in height. Flowers bloom May through August.

    Flowers/Inflorescence: One inch wide yellow flowers with 5 spreading petals and 5 sepals. The flowers have many pistils, and 20 stamens.

    Fruits/Seeds: Smooth seed coat.

    Leaves: Basal leaves have 7-9 leaflets, stem leaves have 1-3 leaflets. The stems of the basal leaves are 1-2 times longer than the blades. Stem leaves are few and reduced in size. There are short, spreading hairs on the stems. The leaves have a dense, wooly underside.

    Stems: Several long stems that branch at the top with flowers growing at the end of these branches. There are short, spreading hairs on the stems.

    Roots: Short rhizomes.

    Ecological Adaptions:

    A highly variable species, Showy cinquefoil can be found on moderately moist meadows, ditch banks, and open woodlands from the valley bottom to subalpine elevations. It thrives in full sun or part shade.

    Soils: Prefers slightly acidic to neutral soils.

    Associated Species: Shrubby cinquefoil, aspen.

    Uses and Management:

    Showy cinquefoil is an aesthetically appealing plant, making up part of the large variety of wildflowers found in mountain meadows.

    Showy Cinquefoil
    Photo courtesy of Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte,