Potentilla norvegica L.
Norwegian cinquefoil (rough cinquefoil)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Allan Carson     (Photo ID #25967)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Potentilla norvegica
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Annual to biennial herb from a taproot; stems erect to ascending, 10-80 cm tall, sometimes branched above, leafy, coarsely stiff-spreading-hairy with often pustular-based hairs, often reddish.
Basal leaves few, long-stalked, palmately compound; leaflets 3, egg-shaped to oblong, 1-6 (8) cm long, coarsely round-toothed, coarse-hairy on both surfaces, paler beneath; stem leaves alternate, similar, several.
Inflorescence a compact, leafy-bracted, terminal cluster of several to many stalked flowers; corollas yellow or whitish-yellow, saucer-shaped, the petals 5, broadly egg-shaped, shorter than the calyx-lobes; calyces hairy, 5-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, 4-6 mm long, alternating with 5 narrower bractlets about the same length as the calyx-lobes; ovaries superior, the styles thickened at the base; stamens usually 20.
Achenes, numerous, clustered, lopsided-egg-shaped, about 1 mm long, brown, strongly wavy-wrinkled.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Potentilla norvegica

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
1109 450 1657
Slope Gradient (%)
5 0 95

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

7 20 320
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 1 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BG(3), BWBS(1), ESSF(6), ICH(2), IDF(1), MS(1), PP(1), SBPS(7), SBS(5), SWB(1)

Habitat and Range

Moist to wet meadows, clearings, roadsides, waste places and burns in the lowland to montane zones; common throughout BC, except rare north of 55degreeN (probably introduced along the coast); circumboreal, N to AK, E to NF and S to NC, TX and CA; Greenland, Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Potentilla monspeliensis L.
Potentilla norvegica subsp. hirsuta (Michx.) Hyl.
Potentilla norvegica var. hirsuta (Michx.) Lehm.
Potentilla norvegica var. labradorica (Lehm.) Fernald