[Cinquefoils Found East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Shortleaf Cinquefoil, Short-leaved Cinquefoil, Sparseleaf Cinquefoil

Potentilla brevifolia

Shortleaf Cinquefoil, Short-leaved Cinquefoil, Sparseleaf Cinquefoil: Potentilla brevifolia

Short-leaved cinquefoil begining to bloom on steep, rocky slopes on Strawberry Mountain, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness...............August 3, 2011.

Shortleaf Cinquefoil, Short-leaved Cinquefoil, Sparseleaf Cinquefoil: Potentilla brevifoliaThe photo at right shows a close-up of the upper stem and a flower of short-leaved cinquefoil from near the summit of Strawberry Mt. The minute glands on the stems and calyx can barely be made out.
Characteristics:

Short-leaved cinquefoil is an attractive perennial with prostrate rhizome-like scaly branches which form mats up to 20 cm in diameter. The herbage consists of short, fine hairs, often tipped with minute glands. Plants may also be mostly glabrous. The numerous flower stems range from 5-20 cm high, most of which are sparsely leafed. The basal leaves are more numerous, each with slender petioles which are generally longer than the length of the blades. The blades are pinnately-compound with 5-7 closely spaced leaflets. The leaflets have shapes varying from orbicular to obovate and fan-like and each measures from 6-10 mm long. The tips of the leaflets are shallowly incised once or twice with rounded teeth.

The inflorescence is an open, branching cyme of several flowers. The calyx is shallowly cupped with 5 ovate to oblong-lanceolate sepals which spread or slightly ascend. The individual sepals are 3-5 mm long and glandular, sometimes being covered with coarse, stiff hairs. The 5 yellow petals are broadly obovate with rounded to blunt or notched tips. Individual petals range from 5-8 mm long. There are usually 20 stamens surrounding numerous minute pistils.


Leaf of Shortleaf Cinquefoil, Short-leaved Cinquefoil, Sparseleaf Cinquefoil: Potentilla brevifolia - Leaf of Shortleaf Cinquefoil, Short-leaved Cinquefoil, Sparseleaf Cinquefoil: Potentilla brevifolia

The compound-pinntate leaf of short-leaved cinquefoil. Note the minute glands on the blades of the leaflets.

Habitat:

Short-leaved cinquefoil may be found growing on rocky slopes on high mountains.


Range:

Short-leaved cinquefoil may be found from Grant County in eastern Oregon east through the high mountains of central Idaho to Wyoming and south to Nevada.


Close-up of a flower of Shortleaf Cinquefoil, Short-leaved Cinquefoil, Sparseleaf Cinquefoil: Potentilla brevifolia - Close-up sideview of the flower of Shortleaf Cinquefoil, Short-leaved Cinquefoil, Sparseleaf Cinquefoil: Potentilla brevifolia

Shortleaf Cinquefoil, Short-leaved Cinquefoil, Sparseleaf Cinquefoil: Potentilla brevifolia - Shortleaf Cinquefoil, Short-leaved Cinquefoil, Sparseleaf Cinquefoil: Potentilla brevifolia

Additional close-up photos of short-leaved cinquefoil as seen from Strawberry Mountain, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness...............August 3, 2011.

Paul Slichter