Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Potentilla palustris (L.) Scop.
- Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: The characteristics of this cinquefoil are its reddish purple flowers with pointed petals and its palmately compound leaves with 5-7 leaflets.
- Habitat: Swamps, bogs.
- Habit: Perennial herb with creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright or ascending, stout, up to 1 1/2 feet tall, glandular-hairy in the upper half, more or less smooth in the lower half.
- Leaves: Alternate, palmately compound, with 5-7 leaflets; leaflets lanceolate to oblong to oblanceolate, up to 2 1/2 inches long, rounded at the tip, tapering to the base, toothed, smooth on the upper surface, pale and smooth or hairy on the low
- Flowers: Few borne in cymes; flowers subtended by bracts up to 1/3 inch long.
- Sepals: 5, united below to form a short floral tube, ovate, up to 3/4 inch long, pointed at the tip, purplish.
- Petals: 5, free from each other, ovate-lanceolate, pointed at the tip, up to 1/3 inch long, reddish purple.
- Stamens: Numerous.
- Pistils: Many, each with a superior ovary.
- Fruits: Achenes many, ellipsoid.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
Previous Species -- Northwest Cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis)
Return to Species List -- Group 6
Next Species -- Platte Cinquefoil (Potentilla plattensis)