Sulfur cinquefoil

(Potentilla recta)

Sulfur cinquefoil is a perennial forb that is native to Eurasia. The flowers are pale yellow with 5 heart-shaped petals and are slightly longer than the 5 enclosing green sepals and 5 small bracts. Sulfur cinquefoil’s flowers appear from May to July with peak flowering generally occurring in late June. Each flower produces numerous small seeds that are slightly flattened and 1.3 mm long. The seeds are comma-shaped, brownish-purple in color, and covered with a net-like pattern of veins. Seeds remain viable in the soil for at least three years. Leaves are numerous, alternate, and compound with 5 to 7 leaflets having toothed edges. Leafstalks have conspicuous perpendicular hairs and leaves appear green on the underside. The erect stems are single to several, with few (or none) slender branches and are 12 to 28 inches in height that grow from the well-developed rootstock. The plant has a single taproot and may have several shallow, spreading branch roots but no rhizomes.

Sulfur cinquefoil fact sheet  



Sulfur cinquefoil distribution map