Snow Cinquefoil

Vickie Emms

Anola, MB., Canada

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SOLD – March 31, 2011 – Two cards to unknown buyer. Many thanks!


November 3, 2011


Featured in Endangered & Vulnerable Plants – May 28, 2011

Potentilla nivea L. snow cinquefoil
Roseaceae (Rose Family)
Status: State Sensitive

General Description: Adapted from Hitchcock et al. (1961): Potentilla nivea is a perennial herb with a branched crown and short rootstocks, more or less covered with short, soft, wooly hairs and usually grayish throughout, except for the leaves that are often greenish and covered with straight coarse, stiff hairs on the upper surface. The stems are 1-1/8 to 8 in. (3-20 cm) tall. The alternate leaves are divided into three leaflets, which are egg-shaped to oblong, ¼ to 1-1/3 in. (0.5-3.5 cm) long, and 5 to 11-toothed from nearly halfway to the midvein. The inflorescence is a compact to open cluster of 1 to 9 stalked flowers with evident bracts. The calyx is silky-hairy to somewhat tomentose, with 5 lanceolate, 1/8 in. (3-5 mm) long lobes that alternate with 5 small bracts that are linearlanceolate and shorter than the calyx lobes. The yellow petals are heart-shaped and 1/16 in. (1-2 mm) longer than the sepals.

Identification Tips: Within its range, Potentilla nivea may be confused with P. quinquefolia (also a rare plant) and P. uniflora. Both P. nivea and P. uniflora have 3 leaflets versus P. quinquefolia, which usually has 5 leaflets. P. nivea can be distinguished from P. uniflora by its inflorescence which is comprised of 1 to 9 stalked flowers,whereas the inflorescence of P. uniflora is comprised of 1 (to rarely 2
or 3) stalked flowers. The phenology of P. nivea is slightly longer (June through August) than that of P. uniflora (June through July). A
technical key is recommended for identification

Range: This species is known from Alaska to Newfoundland, north to Greenland and Eurasia and south throughout the Rocky Mountains to
New Mexico and Nevada.
Habitat: This species is found in alpine scree, fellfields, meadows and dry rocky ridge tops, from 7200 to 8076 feet (2195-2462 m) elevation.
Photographed on the Wilcox Pass Hiking Trail, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada/
Canon EOS Rebel XT; 18-55mm lens @55mm


Artwork Comments

  • SelinaJ
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