Potentilla arguta (Tall Cinquefoil)
|Also known as:||Prairie Cinquefoil|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; prairies, edges of woods|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||1 to 3 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in tightly packed clusters of 2 to 6 flowers at the top of the plant. Individual flowers are ½ to ¾ inches across with 5 white to creamy colored petals, 5 sharply pointed green sepals about as long as the petals, and about 20 golden yellow stamens surrounding a golden yellow center. One plant has 1 to several clusters. Typically only a few flowers are open at a time.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are compound in groups of 7 to 11. Most leaves are basal on long stalks, with a few leaves alternating up the stem. Leaflets are up to 3 inches long and 2 inches wide, generally oval, very hairy, coarsely toothed and often double toothed. Stem leaves are smaller, have fewer than 7 leaflets and little or no stalk. Leaflets at the tip end of the leaf are largest. Stems are densely covered in light brown to whitish hairs and are a little sticky.
The flowers of Tall Cinquefoil vaguely resemble those of Sulphur Cinquefoil (Potentilla recta), which has palmately compound leaves. There are 2 recognized subspecies of P. arguta: subsp. convallaria, a western species, and subsp. arguta, found in Minnesota and present in much of the northern half of the US and into Canada, excluding the west coast.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County, and Wild River State Park, Chisago County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?