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Common Cinquefoil, Decumbent Five-finger, Old Field Cinquefoil - Potentilla simplex


Family: Rosaceae - Rose family Genus Common Name: Cinquefoil Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Potentilla simplex - Common Cinquefoil, Decumbent Five-finger, Old Field Cinquefoil. There is a Potentilla species found in every state in the U.S. except Hawaii, and in every province in Canada. Potentilla simplex is a species of the eastern half of North America, being found from the plains states to the east coast, excluding Florida. This plant, while native to the United States and Canada, can be weedy and is listed in the USDA Introduced, Invasive, and Noxious Plants list.

Found in:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

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Potentilla simplex

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

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 25 Jun 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2013-May-17Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The leaf of Potentilla simplex is palmately compound with 5 leaflets (from which comes the common name Cinquefoil.) The leaflets are up to 3 inches long and are toothed for about two-thirds the distance from the tip. Potentilla canadensis - Dwarf Cinquefoil - is similar, but rarely grows more than 4 inches tall, and the leaves are shorter (up to 1.5 inches long) and toothed only for half their length.
Potentilla simplex

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2013-May-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Potentilla simplex has 5 yellow petals that have a narrow base but quickly widen to a rounded tip. The tip is usually somewhat notched in the center, giving the petal a heart shape.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Potentilla simplex

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2013-May-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The green sepals of Potentilla simplex are somewhat shorter than the petals. The blossom is on a pedicel arising from the leaf node. The stem and pedicel may be nearly glabrous to quite hairy. The stem turns red with age.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Potentilla simplex

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2013-May-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The petals surround around 20 stamens.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Potentilla simplex

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2013-May-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Common Cinquefoil rarely grows more than a foot tall, although I have seen them taller. It is stoloniferous, with the stolons running along the ground for 3 feet or more. Multiple plantsí stolons can crisscross each other, forming mats.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Potentilla simplex

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer