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Common name: Slender Cinquefoil
Scientific name: Potentilla gracilis
Duration: Perennial
Family: Rosaceae (Rose)
Habitat: Moist to seasonally dry, full sun to partial shade, moderate drought tolerance but water use is low; this plant is not particular about soil type, as long as the site is well-drained
Blooming period: Late spring to early summer
Color: Bright yellow flowers that resemble strawberry blossoms
Height: 2-3'
Planting Time: Fall to Early Spring; 30-days stratification required

Potentillas should be one of your first choices if you are planning a butterfly garden, as butterflies find them a very attractive nectar source. Deer are not fond of potentilla.

Potentilla is a Latin diminutive term from potens which means "powerful" and refers to the strong medicinal properties that some species within this genus have.
gracilis is a Latin term meaning slender, slight or graceful.


The lowly cinquefoil is a rose,
A fact that any botanist knows,
Though it seems to me a mystery
How such a lowly plant can be
Sibling to a flower that grows
As glorious as a garden rose.
The bigger question does remain:
How you pronounce that funny name?
Does it 'sink' or does it 'sank'
As it wanders up the bank?
And as it creep across the soil
What pray tell does it foil?

Jack Sanders

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