Ontario Wildflowers website

Common Cinquefoil
Potentilla simplex

Other common names: Decumbent Five-finger, Old Field Cinquefoil

French names: Potentille simple

Family: Rose Family (Rosaceae)

Group: Cinquefoils

Distinctive features: Low plant, looks like a vine along the ground. Yellow 5-part flowers. Palmate leaves. Also suggests a yellow-flowered strawberry.

Similar species:
  •   Three-toothed Cinquefoil (Sibbaldia tridentata) - The leaves are quite different.

  •   Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) - A shrub.

Flowers: Summer;  Yellow;  5 parts (petals);  5-part, yellow. Late spring & early summer.

Leaves: Palmate leaves - 5 leaflets toothed for 3/4 of their length.

Height: 5-20 cm (1-7 in);  Low, trailing plant.

Stem: Weak, reclining. Some hairiness.

Habitat: Fields and Open Areas;  Fields and open woods.

Grows in Sun/Shade: Sun

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 240    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 134    ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario: 370   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: common.

Photographs: 28 photographs available, of which 4 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

Closeup view of the flower. The flowers are about 1/4-1/2" wide.

Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

Photo of a plant. The stems are slightly hairy.

The 5-part compound leaves are easily seen here as well.

Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

The leaves are toothed for 3/4 of their length.Leaves are palmately compound and have 5 leaflets.

Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

Makes a great native plant ground cover.

Range map for Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)