Dasiphora fruticosa (Shrubby Cinquefoil)
|Also known as:|
|Life cycle:||perennial woody|
|Habitat:||sun; moist thickets, wet prairie, swamps, fens, rocky shores|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||1 to 3 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACW MW: FACW NCNE: FACW|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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The bright yellow flowers are ¾ to a little over 1 inch across, borne in singles or small clusters at branch tips, with 5 round petals and a cluster of yellow stamens and pistils in the center, the stamens turning reddish with age. Sepals behind the flower are oval lanced, under 1/3 inch long and offset by lance-like bracts that typically are longer than the sepals, both covered in fine hairs.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are palmately compound, with 3-7 narrow leaflets (5 is typical) with pointed tips; the 3 center leaflets joined at the base, the others stalkless. The compound leaf is about 1 inch long and wide, attached with a short stalk that is partially sheathed at the base by a narrow papery appendage (stipule). Upper leaf surface is dark green, the lower silvery, both covered in silvery hairs. Woody stems are up to 4/10 inch in diameter with smooth gray brown bark that sheds in thin vertical strips on the older wood. New branches are red or purple brown, and finely hairy.
Shrubby Cinquefoil is most common on the rocky north shore of Lake Superior and in swamps and fens in the northwest Minnesota counties. Once a rave shrub in the home landscape, many, many cultivars have been marketed with ranges in shrub height and form, with flower colors of white, pink, deep red and shades of gold. Selections in the industry come from both European and western US sources where the older Latin designation of Potentilla fruticosa is still commonly used, or sometimes Dasiphora floribunda. Still a durable shrub in sunny locations with adequate moisture, several Minnesota natives nurseries offer Minnesota seed sourced plants—be sure to ask for native sourced plants!
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at the Red Lake peatlands, Beltrami County, and the north shore in Cook County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Lake County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?