Dwarf Cinquefoil

Dwarf_Cinquefoil_jpgThis family (Rosaceae) commonly called the Rose Family consists of 107 genera and 3,100 species of herbs, shrubs and trees.  The family is of great economic importance, providing fruits (apples, cherries, plums, peaches, raspberries and strawberries) and ornamentals (roses). The name “Cinquefoil” is French, cinque for five and foil for leaf–the five-leafed plant.  An earlier Latin name wasquinquefolium.  Five-fingered grass was an early English nickname. Native Americans used crushed Dwarf Cinquefoil root infusion (medicine prepared by steeping plant part without boiling) to treat diarrhea.

OtherCommonName:

Canadian Cinquefoil, Five Fingers

ScientificName:

Potentilla canadensis

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

Prostate (2 to 10 inches)

FruitingTime:

June to July

Distribution:

Nova Scotia to Georgia and Tennessee ~ Statewide in NJ, but rare in Pine Barrens

FloweringTime:

Late April to late May

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Leaves are basal and divided stawberrylike into five toothed leaflets ~ Flowers with 5 yellow petals ~ Short rhizomes ~ Stems slender ~ Leaves oval, toothed ~ Potentilla canadensis and Potentilla simples are similar and frequently not identified correctly