[The Cinquefoils of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Erect Cinquefoil, Sulpher Cinquefoil

Potentilla recta

Synonyms: Hypargyrium rectum, Potentilla recta var. obscura, Potentilla recta var. pilosa, Potentilla recta var. sulphurea, Potentilla sulphurea

Close-up photo of a flower of Erect Cinquefoil, Sulpher Cinquefoil: Potentilla recta (Synonyms: Hypargyrium rectum, Potentilla recta var. obscura, Potentilla recta var. pilosa, Potentilla recta var. sulphurea, Potentilla sulphurea)

The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of erect cinquefoil as seen at the eastern entrance to Trombetta Canyon (a limestone canyon) in northeastern Washington.........June 24, 2006. Note the 25 stamens on this flower, a characteristic of this species.

Close-up photo of the calyx and underside of the petals of Erect Cinquefoil, Sulpher Cinquefoil: Potentilla recta (Synonyms: Hypargyrium rectum, Potentilla recta var. obscura, Potentilla recta var. pilosa, Potentilla recta var. sulphurea, Potentilla sulphurea)The photo at right shows a close-up sideview of the flower calyx of erect cinquefoil as seen at the eastern entrance to Trombetta Canyon (a limestone canyon) in northeastern Washington.........June 24, 2006. Note that the petals are much longer than the sepals.
Characteristics:

Eerect cinquefoil is a perennial with one to several erect stems from 30-80 cm high. The stems are often simple but may also be branched. The greenish herbage is variable, ranging from sparsely to copiously haired. Many of the hairs are longer and somewhat appressed to spreading while there are also numerous shorter hairs that are spreading and sometimes gland-tipped. Several basal leaves may be found, but they are more abundant on the stems. The digitate leaves have 5-7 leaflets which largely spread from a central point. Each leaflet is prominently veined and measures 3-8 cm long with the teeth or short lobes along the margins cut no more than half the distance into the midvein. The stipules at the base of the leaf petiole measure 1-2 cm long and are lanceolate to ovate in shape.

The inflorescence is a many-flowered, often flat-topped cyme. They are often leafy-bracteate at the lower nodes.The branches of the cyme are generally ascending. The calyx is cup-like and up to 12 cm wide. The calyx lobes number more than 5 and are up to5-9 mm long. The 5 yellowish petals are obovate in shape with a notch at the tip. They are equal to or are longer than the sepals. Numerous pistils are clustered at the center of the flower and are surrounded by 25 stamens.


Similar Species:

Silvery Cinquefoil: Potentilla argentea - Plants with whitish tomentose hairs on the ventral leaf surface. Leaflets up to 2.5 cm long. Leafy stems, with few if any basal leaves. Plants leafy-bracteate within the inflorescence. Flowers less than 1 cm broad. 20 stamens.

Graceful Cinquefoil: Potentilla gracilis - Ventral surface of the leaf blades vary from greenish with hirsute hairs, to gray-or whitish with tomentose hairs. Leaflets 3-8 cm long. Leaves mainly basal with some stem leaves which are held away from the stem. Plants not leafy-bracteate within the inflorescence. Flowers 1-2 cm broad. Stamens 20.


Habitat:

Erect cinquefoil may be found in disturbed soils in fields, along roads, waste places or in open forests which have been disturbed.


Range:

Erect cinquefoil is native to Eurasia and has become established across much of eastern North America. It is common westward to northwestern Montana and eastern Washington, although it can occasionally be found in many counties across Washington.

In the Columbia River Gorge erect cinquefoil may be occasionally found between the elevations of 100'-2000' from east of Cape Horn eastward to near Lyle, WA.


Close-up photo of the calyx and underside of the petals of Erect Cinquefoil, Sulpher Cinquefoil: Potentilla recta (Synonyms: Hypargyrium rectum, Potentilla recta var. obscura, Potentilla recta var. pilosa, Potentilla recta var. sulphurea, Potentilla sulphurea) - Close-up of a flower of Erect Cinquefoil, Sulpher Cinquefoil: Potentilla recta (Synonyms: Hypargyrium rectum, Potentilla recta var. obscura, Potentilla recta var. pilosa, Potentilla recta var. sulphurea, Potentilla sulphurea)- Close-up of a flower of Erect Cinquefoil, Sulpher Cinquefoil: Potentilla recta (Synonyms: Hypargyrium rectum, Potentilla recta var. obscura, Potentilla recta var. pilosa, Potentilla recta var. sulphurea, Potentilla sulphurea)

Close-ups of the flowers and leaves of graceful cinquefoil as seen on the Major Creek Plateau in the central Columbia River Gorge...........June 3, 2006. Note the light yellow petals which are about twice as long as the sepals. The similar slender cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis) has darker yellow or orangish yellow petals.

Close-up of a stem leaf of Erect Cinquefoil, Sulpher Cinquefoil: Potentilla recta (Synonyms: Hypargyrium rectum, Potentilla recta var. obscura, Potentilla recta var. pilosa, Potentilla recta var. sulphurea, Potentilla sulphurea)

The photo at right shows a stem leaf of erect cinquefoil as seen at the eastern entrance to Trombetta Canyon in northeastern Washington..........June 24, 2006. Note that the lobes of the leaflets are generally incised up to 50% to the midvein. Note also the long spreading hairs. The blades are not tomentosely haired beneath.

Erect Cinquefoil, Sulpher Cinquefoil: Potentilla recta (Synonyms: Hypargyrium rectum, Potentilla recta var. obscura, Potentilla recta var. pilosa, Potentilla recta var. sulphurea, Potentilla sulphurea)

Erect cinquefoil as seen at the eastern entrance to Trombetta Canyon (a limestone canyon) in northeastern Washington........June 24, 2006. Note how closely the erect stem leaves are held to the stem, a characteristic of this species.

Paul Slichter