-Potentilla gracilis as seen at left on the Major Creek Plateau, Columbia River Gorge......June 30, 1991. The photo at right shows graceful cinquefoil in bloom in grasslands at Brooks Memorial State Park.....June 4, 2021..
Graceful cinquefoil is a perennial with several spreading to erect stems from 40-80 cm high and fan-like leaves. The herbage is variable, ranging from sparsely to copiously haired. The basal leaves are numerous with petioles up to 30 cm long and the blade usually palmately compound (although it may occasionally be pinnate). The 7-9 leaflets are oblanceolate or oblong-elliptical in shape and 3-8 cm long and with variable leaf margins which range from coarsely toothed with 5-6 teeth per cm to very deeply dissected almost to the midvein. The 1-2 stem leaves are smaller in size and usually consist of fewer leaflets.
The inflorescence is a many-flowered, often flat-topped cyme. The sepals are lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate with pointed tips and are 4-10 mm long. The 5 petals are yellow and obovate-obcordate in shape. They are slightly to considerably longer than the sepals. There are usually 20 stamens and the pistils are numerous.
Brownfuz Cinquefoil, Slender Cinquefoil: var. brunnescens (Synonym: Potentilla brunnescens) -
Combleaf Cinquefoil, Elmer's Cinquefoil: var. elmeri (Synonym: Potentilla pectinisecta) -
Slender Cinquefoil: var. fastigiata (Synonyms: Potentilla amadorensis, Potentilla angustata, Potentilla blasckeana, Potentilla blasckeana var. permollis, Potentilla etomentosa, Potentilla etomentosa var. hallii, Potentilla fastigiata, Potentilla glomerata, Potentila gracilis ssp. nuttallii, Potentilla gracilis var. blasckeana, Potentilla gracilis var. brunnescens, Potentilla gracilis var. glabrata, Potentilla gracilis var. nuttallii, Potentilla gracilis var. permollis, Potentilla gracilis var. rigida, Potentilla hallii, Potentilla hassei, Potentilla indiges, Potentilla jucunda, Potentilla nuttallii, Potentilla permollis, Potentilla rectiformis, Potentilla viridescens) -
Fan-shaped Cinquefoil, Fan-leaved Cinquefoil: var. flabelliformis (Synonym: Potentilla flabelliformis) -
Graceful Cinquefoil: var. gracilis (Synonyms: Potentilla longipedunculata, Potentilla macropetala) -
Beautiful Cinquefoil: Potentilla pulcherrima (Synonyms: Potentilla camporum, Potentilla gracilis var. pucherrima) -
Graceful cinquefoil may be found on moist soils in grasslands, meadows, and in the sagebrush desert, or in moist, open woodlands.
Graceful cinquefoil may be found from Alaska south along the Pacific coast to northern California, and south in the Sierra Nevada to Baja California. It is found eastward to Saskatchewan and the Dakotas, and south to New Mexico and Arizona.