Potentilla recta (Sulphur Cinquefoil)
|Also known as:
|sun; fields, prairies, along roads
|June - August
|12 to 30 inches
|Wetland Indicator Status:
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):
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Flowers are in loose clusters at the top of the plant and the end of stems branching near the top of the plant. Individual flowers are about ¾ inch across with 5 pale yellow heart-shaped petals that have a smudge of brighter yellow at the base. There are numerous yellow stamens with yellowish brown tips surrounding the bright yellow center.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are palmately compound in groups of 3 to 7; leaves at the base of the plant have long stalks and more leaflets, those near the top are smaller, have 3 leaflets and are stalkless. Leaflets are rounded at the tip, tapering at the base, strongly toothed, hairy, up to 3 inches long and 1 inch wide with the middle leaflet largest. Stems and leaf stalks are covered in long white hairs.
Sulphur Cinquefoil is easily identified by its pale yellow flowers and palmate leaves. The flowers vaguely resemble Tall Cinquefoil (Potentilla arguta), but its flowers are white and its leaves are pinnately compound rather than palmate.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?