Potentilla simplex common cinquefoil Rosaceae POSI; Bx, nb, pb, sf, vc, wv (Yost et al. 1991); NY, iw; Q, a, cu; K; R, bd, c, e, fw, h, js, k, lp, mls, sv:

 

Potentilla simplex.commons.wikimedia.org

Potentilla simplex.commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 3/2015).

Potentilla simplex is a perennial herb, colonial ground cover, from a irregularly thickened rhizome to 8 long, 2 cm wide; stems hairy to 0.3 cm thick, at first upright to 50 cm, then forming runners to 1.2 m long, rooting at nodes, tips forming more tubers. 

Leaves alternate, palmately compound, 5 leaflets, to 7.5 cm long widest above middle, margin toothed three-quarters of way to base, hairy below, sometimes whitish, stipules of basal leaves with 2 narrow, inrolling lobes, stipules of stem leaves to 3 cm long, flowering after leaves expanded. 

Flowers yellow, radially symmetrical, 5-parted, about 1cm wide, solitary in axils, blooming and fruiting April-July (Hough 1983). 

Fruit dry, a small head of achenes. Seeds eaten by some birds and small mammals, foliage eaten by rabbits and small mammals (Martin et al. 1951). 

Wetland status: FACU-. 

Potentilla simplex

Potentilla.simplex.M. B. Gargiullo (ca. 2011)

Frequency in NYC: Occasional. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Open areas and part shade, lawns, edges, low vegetation. 

Note: Much like P.canadensis but more common, forming longer tubers and basal leaves with inrolled stipule lobes.