Thursday, May 22, 2008

Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

Other common names for this plant include oldfield cinquefoil and oldfield fivefingers. (Cinquefoil means five-leaved.) It is common throughout central and eastern North America. Although a native species growing as an understory plant in the tallgrass prairies once covering much of the continent's center, human-made habitat changes have allowed P. simplex to expand its territory. In some parts of the northeast it is considered a weedy invasive because it proliferates and displaces plants native to that area.

Common Cinquefoil's proliferation is easy to understand because of the wide variety of growing conditions and locations it tolerates. According to Illinois wildflowers: The preference is partial to full sun, and moist to dry conditions. The soil can consist of loam, clay-loam, or contain gravelly material. Habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, open upland forests, savannas, gravelly seeps, and abandoned fields. This plant occurs in both disturbed areas and high quality habitats. On our 40 acres of the Ozarks, it grows mostly in the disturbed areas along the road down to our place.

This perennial plant begins growing erect, but soon falls over and sprawls along the ground in a vine-like manner. Its prostrate stems root at the stolons and can grow a couple of feet long. The slender stems and stolons are initially green, but become red with age. Flowers and leaves arise from runners on separate stalks.

Sources and links:
Kansas Flowers & Grasses
LBJ Wildflower Center
Illonois Flowers
2bn The Wild
Missouri Plants



Marie said...

You have an interesting and beautiful blog!
I found your blog through Ida's blog.
You are welcome to visit my blog too if you like.

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful little flower and very interesting info

Anonymous said...

We have it here but not as much as wild strawberries. I think the birds initially planted the seeds and continue doing it. I have some about to ripen in one of the newer beds and it isn't even finished yet.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is very invasive in my garden. I don't like that aspect of it.

Lana Gramlich said...

I haven't seen cinquefoil since I left Canada, unfortunately. Thanks for the memory!

Tom said...

I just love the information and time you must spend on each post..

smilnsigh said...

Sounds like one of those pretty, but nasty little things in Nature. Like the eeeevil Binder Vine!

Which {the eeeevil Binder Vine} has a pretty morning glory like flower, for a short time. But over all, is a nasty, terribly invasive pest.

Got those down there?

If not, I could send you some.... Free.... Be glad to get rid of a zillion or so of them. >,-)


Anonymous said...

That first shot is stunning and I greatly appreciate you continuing to share these amazing flowers with us.

AphotoAday said...

How interesting...
Love that word, cinquefoil.   I'll be on the lookout for five petal flowers around here.   Can't wait to impress somebody with the information...