Genus Potentilla
Rose Family (Rosaceae)

(Potentilla gracilis)

The name "cinquefoil" means "five fingers". This is because the leaves usually have five leaflets. On this species the leaves are palmate in shape. They are dark green on top, but are gray and pubescent on the under side. The bright yellow flowers have five petals, and are about a half inch in diameter.

Sticky Cinquefoil
(Potentilla anserina)

This species has leaves that are not palmate, but they still usually have five leaflets. There are glands on the leaves which make them somewhat sticky to the touch. The flowers are a pale yellow in color. The plant grows on open hillsides.

Shrubby Cinquefoil
(Potentilla fruticosa)

This species grows as a small shrub on open rocky mountain sides. It is about 2 feet tall, has gray-green leaves, and yellow blossoms.

Albion Basin
Wasatch Mountains
Salt Lake County, Utah


by Sandra Bray