E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Potentilla nivea L. var. nivea
snow cinquefoil
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
Once images have been obtained, photographs of this species will be displayed in this window.Click on the image to enter our photo gallery.
Currently no image is available for this taxon.
E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Potentilla nivea var. nivea
Click here to view our NEW interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.



General:
Perennial herb from a short rhizome and branched stem-base; stems few to several, loosely tufted, ascending to erect, 5-30 cm tall, woolly-hairy and often also cobwebby, rarely long-soft-hairy as well (var. pentaphylla).
Leaves:
Basal leaves few to numerous, palmately to somewhat pinnately compound, the stalks cobwebby-woolly; leaflets 3 to 5, egg-shaped to oblong, 0.5-3 cm long, coarsely blunt-toothed or cleft halfway to the midrib, greenish and silky-hairy above, white-woolly and rarely also long-hairy beneath; stem leaves alternate, 1 or 2, short-stalked or unstalked, reduced upwards.
Flowers:
Inflorescence a compact to open cluster of 1 to 9 stalked flowers; corollas yellow, bowl-shaped, the petals 5, heart-shaped, 4-7 mm long, shallowly notched at the tip; calyces silky-hairy to somewhat woolly, 5-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, 3-5 mm long, alternating with 5 linear-lanceolate bractlets shorter than the calyx-lobes; ovaries superior, the styles warty-thickened at the base; stamens usually 20.
Fruits:
Achenes, several to many, clustered, lopsided-egg-shaped, smooth, 1-2 mm long.
Notes:
Two varieties occur in BC:

1. Leaflets 3, coarsely toothed; the more common variety.............. var. nivea

1. Leaflets 3 to 5, cleft halfway to midrib; rare in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains............... var. pentaphylla Lehm.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic open grassy slopes, meadows, tundra, rock outcrops and sandy or gravelly benches in the montane to alpine zones; common (var. nivea) or rare (var. pentaphylla) throughout BC, in and east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; circumboreal, N to AK, E to PQ and S to NV and CO; Greenland, Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Potentilla arenosa (Turcz.) Juz.
Potentilla nivea subsp. fallax A.E. Porsild
Potentilla nivea var. tomentosa Nilss.-Ehle
Potentilla prostrata Rottb.
Potentilla prostrata subsp. floccosa Soják, nom. inq.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References