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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

26. Rosaceae, the Rose Family

2. Potentilla L. -- Cinquefoil

4. Potentilla paradoxa Nutt. ex Torr. & Gray -- Bushy cinquefoil


Erect to decumbent, taprooted annual or shortlived perennial 1.5-7 dm tall, glabrous below to hirsute above; stems simple or branched from the base, diffusely branched above. Leaves mostly cauline, long-petioled below, shorter petioled above, pinnately compound, with 7-11 leaflets, the smaller, sessile bractlike leaves of the inflorescence mostly ternate; leaflets elliptic to obovate, 0.8-4 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide, serrate; stipules prominent, ovate, entire to serrate, mostly 0.5-1.5 cm long. Flowers usually numerous in open to dense cymes, not showy; sepals ovate-triangular, acute to abruptly acuminate, 2.5-4 mm long, the bractlets sometimes longer; petals yellow, obovate, 2.5-3.5 mm long, about equaling the sepals; stamens (10-15)20; styles terminal. Achenes brownish, obliquely obovate, ca. 1 mm long, apically ridged, often corky-thickened in the lower half. Jun--Sep. Shores, ditches, floodplains and flats, often where sandy or gravelly; frequent; (Ont. to B.C., s to PA, IL, MO, LA, Mex. and WA).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Species -- Potentilla palustris (L.) Scop. -- Bog cinquefoil
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