Potentilla arguta Pursh
Tall Cinquefoil (white cinquefoil)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Gordon Neish     (Photo ID #40549)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Potentilla arguta
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Potentilla arguta ssp. convallaria

Species Information

Perennial herb from a short rhizome and branched stem-base; stems several, erect, 30-100 cm tall, strongly glandular-hairy.
Basal leaves several, long-stalked, pinnately compound; leaflets 5 to 9, mostly egg-shaped, 1-5 cm long, coarsely double-toothed, greenish and usually bothglandular-hairy and coarse-hairy but sometimes nearly smooth on both surfaces; stem leaves alternate, few, reduced upward.
Inflorescence a compact, narrow, nearly flat-topped, terminal cluster of several to many stalked flowers; corollas pale yellow to cream or whitish, bowl-shaped, the petals 5, oblong-egg-shaped, 5-9 mm long; calyces glandular, 5-lobed, the lobes lance-egg-shaped, 4-8 mm long, alternating with 5 shorter, narrower bractlets; ovaries superior, the styles spindle-shaped and glandular-roughened near the middle; stamens usually 25.
Achenes, numerous, lopsided-egg-shaped, 1-1.5 mm long, smooth.
The subspecies arguta, with brown-hairy stems, is found east of the Rocky Mountains and may be expected in NE BC.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat and Range

Dry to moist meadows, thickets, rocky grassy slopes and open forests in the steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout BC, except along the coast; N to AK, E to PQ and S to OR, AZ, NM, OK and NJ.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia