Dasiphora fruticosa (Shrubby Cinquefoil)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Rosaceae (Rose)
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):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals

[photo of flowers] 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: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: compound Leaf type: palmate

[photo of leaves] 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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More photos

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?

Posted by: Cynthia Dunn - Lake of the Woods county near Pitt
on: 2021-07-31 10:14:56

In native prairie area

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