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Sulfur Cinquefoil, Roughfruit Cinquefoil - Potentilla recta


Family: Rosaceae Rose family Genus Common Name: Cinquefoil Native Status: Introduced
Potentilla recta - Sulfur Cinquefoil, Roughfruit Cinquefoil. Sulfur Cinquefoil is an upright perennial with hairy stems to nearly 3 feet tall, found frequently along roadsides throughout most of the United States. This non-native was introduced from Europe, and is so invasive that despite its beauty is considered an obnoxious weed in Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, and is found in all but 5 states. Sulfur Cinquefoil is also known as Roughfruit Cinquefoil.

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Distribution of Potentilla recta in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 22 Nov 2014). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2008-May-23Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D40
1/640 f/5.6 ISO400
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm 4-5.6G ED
200mm (300 equiv)
Sulfur Cinquefoil has 5 shallowly-notched yellow petals. The central part of the blossom is a deeper, sulfur yellow, which give the plant its common name.
Potentilla recta

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2009-May-11Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/320 f/11 ISO200
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
90mm (135 equiv)
In the center of the five yellow petals of Potentilla recta are a cluster of many roundish, flattened stamens which encircle the central sulfur-colored cluster of many pistils.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Potentilla recta

Site: Walker County, Ga Date: 2009-May-11Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/200 f/11 ISO200
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
90mm (135 equiv)
Underneath the 5 petals of Sulfur Cinquefoil are several hairy, pointed sepals.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Potentilla recta

Site: Walker County, Ga Date: 2009-May-11Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/160 f/7.1 ISO200
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
90mm (135 equiv)
The palmately compound leaves of Sulfur Cinquefoil have 5 to 7 toothed leaflets on the lower leaves; the upper leaves may only have 3 leaflets. They are hairy underneath, and the lower leaves are borne on long, hairy petioles. The upper leaves may be nearly sessile. They are alternate on the hairy stem.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Potentilla recta

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2008-May-23Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D40
1/200 f/8 ISO200
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm 4-5.6G ED
75mm (112 equiv)
Sulfur Cinquefoil's several flowering branches above the erect stem can make for lovely dense thickets of the invasive plant.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Potentilla recta

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2014
Photographs Copyrighted by the named photographer