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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 9 | Rosaceae | Potentilla

4. Potentilla canadensis Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 498. 1753.

Dwarf cinquefoil

Potentilla canadensis var. pumila (Poiret) Torrey & A. Gray; P. canadensis var. villosissima Fernald; P. caroliniana Poiret; P. pumila Poiret

Rootstocks erect, stout, 0.5–2 cm. Stems initially ascending to erect, soon becoming prostrate, flagelliform, not branched, eventually rooting at some nodes, (0.3–)0.5–12 dm. Basal leaves ± persistent, usually palmate, 2–9(–11) cm; petiole 1–7(–8) cm, long hairs abundant to dense, appressed to spreading, 1.5–3 mm, mostly ± weak, glands absent or sparse; leaflets (3–)5(–7), central mostly ± obovate to cuneate, sometimes narrowly so, (0.5–)1–4(–6) × (0.5–)0.8–2(–3) cm, distal 1/2 of margin incised 1/4–1/3 to midvein, teeth 2–7 per side, surfaces similar to ± dissimilar, abaxial green to silvery white, sparsely to densely hairy, adaxial green, sparsely to moderately hairy. Cauline leaves 0–1 proximal to 1st flowering node, not fully expanded at anthesis, usually palmate, 2–7(–9) cm; petiole (0.5–)1–6(–7.5) cm; leaflets (3–)5, ± resembling those of basal leaves, apex rounded to obtuse. Inflorescences solitary flowers at stolon nodes. Pedicels (1–)2–5(–9) cm. Flowers 5-merous; epicalyx bractlets linear to lanceolate-elliptic, (2–)3–5(–6) × 0.8–1.5 mm, slightly smaller than to ± equal to sepals; hypanthium 2.5–5 mm diam.; sepals (2–)3–5(–6) mm, apex acute; petals 4–6(–8) × 3.5–6.5(–8) mm, apex rounded to slightly retuse; stamens ca. 20, filaments 0.5–2 mm, anthers 0.4–1 mm; carpels 20–40, styles 0.8–1.4 mm. Achenes 1.2–1.4 mm, smooth. 2n = 28.

Flowering late Mar–early Jun. Dry flats and slopes in lawns, pastures, roadsides, cherty slopes, dry meadows, edges of oak and conifer woodlands, often on acidic soil; 0–1500 m; N.S., Ont.; Conn., Del., D.C., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va.

A cream-colored form (ochroleuca) was described from a now-obliterated site in Massachusetts (M. L. Fernald 1931).


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