Slender Cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis)

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The brightest yellow flowers we have ever seen!

Slender Cinquefoil is present throughout much of western North America, where it grows in meadows, prairies, and other open places. It is a highly variable and adaptable species, doing well in a variety of conditions. It grows from low elevations through to the subalpine, and is usually found in sun, but can handle partial shade as well.

Slender Cinquefoil has low, serrated leaves that are reminiscent of cannabis leaves, or some ornamental maple leaves. Its flowers open in spring, floating a foot or two above the leaves. They are incredibly bright yellow, almost neon. Many native bees and butterflies are drawn to its flowers, and butterflies and moths use it as a host plant as well. Birds are also drawn to the tiny seed once it falls to the ground.

Over time, Slender Cinquefoil puts down and large tap root. It is a very long-lived plant, and can last for many decades!

Photo credit: "委陵菜屬 Potentilla gracilis v nuttallii [哥本哈根大學植物園 Copenhagen University Botanical Garden]" by 阿橋花譜 KHQ Flower Guide is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Long-lived perennial (20+ years)
Full sun to part shade
Wet to moist soil. Needs a bit of summer water if planted in a very dry spot
Flowers up to two feet high
Bright neon yellow
Bloom Period:
Mid spring to early summer
Divided and serrated leaves low on the plant
Native Range:
Western North America
Typical Habitat:
Prairies, meadows, low to high elevations