Random Plant: Sulphur cinquefoil

Sulphur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta, Rosaceae) photographed 10/23/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

Introduced to North America from Eurasia, sulphur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta, Rosaceae) is an easy-to-identify member of the rose family.  It tends to grow in disturbed places, features palmately-compound leaves of five or (more commonly) seven toothy leaflets, has sulfur-colored flowers with five notched petals, and is generally quite hairy (Brandenburg 2010).

Sulphur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta, Rosaceae) photographed 10/23/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

The distinct combination of characteristics make this often weedy plant stick out like a sore thumb.  I sometimes see it growing around driveways, buildings, and near field and forest margins. Although there are more well-behaved native cinquefoils, this more aggressive species is listed as a noxious weed in at least five states.

Literature cited:

Brandenburg, D.M.  2010.  National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America.  Andrew Stewart Publishing, Inc., New York, NY.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Random Plant and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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