Shrubby Cinquefoil

Shrubby Cinquefoil Plant Information


Shrubby Cinquefoil grows in the following 30 states:

Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Oregon, California, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Washington

Dasiphora fruticosa (syn. Potentilla fruticosa L., Pentaphylloides fruticosa (L.) O.Schwarz) is a disputed name. It is a species of hardy deciduous flowering shrub in the genus Dasiphora (formerly Potentilla) of the family Rosaceae, native to the cool temperate and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere, often growing at high altitudes in mountains. Common names include shrubby cinquefoil,golden hardhack,bush cinquefoil,shrubby five-finger,tundra rose, and widdy.

It grows to 0.1-1m (3.9-39.4in) tall, rarely up to 1.5m (4.9ft). The habit is variably upright to sprawling or prostrate, but stems are often ascending especially those stems with many long branches. The bark of older stems is shreddy with long thin strips. The plants are densely leafy, the leaves divided into five or seven (occasionally three or nine) pinnate leaflets. The leaflets are linear-oblong, 3-20mm (0.1-0.8in) long, with entire margins and more or less acute ends. The foliage (both leaves and young stems) is pubescent, variably covered in fine silky, silvery hairs about 1mm long. The flowers are produced terminally on the stems and are 2-3cm (0.8-1.2in) cm across, buttercup-shaped, with five petals and 15-25 stamens; the petals are pale to bright yellow (orange to reddish in some western Chinese populations). The fruit is a cluster of achenes covered with long hairs. The species is variably dioecious or bisexual; flowering is typically from early to late summer. It is normally found growing in moisture-retentive soils in swamps and rocky areas.
There are two subspecies:
Numerous varieties have been described from Asia, some of which have not yet been published under the genus Dasiphora, and others in that genus only as distinct species. These include Potentilla fruticosa var. albicans Rehd. & Wils., P. f. var. arbuscula (D.Don) Maxim. (syn. Dasiphora arbuscula (D.Don) Sojk), P. f. var. dahurica (Nestl.) Ser. (syn. Dasiphora dahurica (Nestl.) Komarov), P. f. var. pumila J.D.Hooker, P. f. var. mandschurica (Maxim.) Wolf (syn. Dasiphora mandshurica (Maxim.) Juz.), and P. f. var. unifoliolata Ludlow (syn. Dasiphora unifoliolata (Ludlow) Sojk). The varieties D. f. var. monticola Rydb. and D. f. var. tenuiloba Rydb. have been described from western North America, but are not widely accepted as distinct.
Shrubby cinquefoil is a popular ornamental plant in temperate regions. Different cultivars are variable with flowers ranging from white to yellow, orange and pink, but they are all hardy plants that produce flowers for much of the summer. The flowers are always small, flat, and round, but there are many dozens on each bush. It is very often used by cities and businesses for landscaping because of its hardiness and low maintenance. It was introduced into cultivation in the 18th century, but many of the modern cultivars, particularly those with orange or red flowers, derive from collections by Reginald Farrer in western China in the early 20th century. The vast majority of sellers and gardeners still use the old name Potentilla fruticosa.
All the characteristics of small leaves, delicate flowers, and orange to brown flaky bark make the shrubby cinquefoil suitable for Bonsai. It is very popular in Japan and is gaining popularity in Europe.
Below is a recommended selection of over 130 cultivars which have been named. Those marked agm have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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