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Weed Identification

common cinquefoil

Family

Rosaceae

Scientific Name

Potentilla simplex

Other Common Names:

oldfield fivefingers
oldfield cinquefoil

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Potentilla simplex var. argyrisma
Potentilla simplex var. calvescens
Potentilla simplex var. typica

Habit

This low growing perennial can be found flowering from April through August, with fruit forming from June through September.

Leaves

The alternate leaves grow on long petioles and are composed of 5 leaflets. The lanceolate or elliptic leaflets have toothed margins, and are dark green on the upper surface, while appearing whitish on the bottom.

Identifying Characteristics

This plant can be distinguished from the Indian mock-strawberry by its 5-toothed leaflets.

Flower Seed Head

The solitary yellow flowers grow on long petioles. Each flower has 5 petals with notched tips.

Seed Fruit

The seeds grow in a small head of nutlets, or achene. Each yellowish brown nutlet is smooth, with a small tuft of hair.

Where Found

This plant prefers dry open areas, and can be found growing in fields, forest edges, and lawns.

Growth Habit

prostrate and nonwoody

Thorns or Spines

not present

Approximate Flower Diameter

dime

Dominant Flower Color

yellow

Flower Symmetry

radial symmetery

Leaf Hairs

Varies: 
no hairs
has hairs

Leaf Shape

Varies: 
lance
oval

Leaf Arrangement

Varies: 
alternate
rosette

Leaf Margin

serrated

Leaf Structure

palmate

Stem Hairs

Varies: 
has hairs
no hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Root Structure

Varies: 
fibrous
rhizomes present
stolons present

Life Cycle

perennial

Ochrea

not present

Plant Type

Herb