CREEPING CINQUEFOIL

Potentilla reptans

Rose Family [Rosaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round



2015, summer,nr Bangor, Eire Photo: © Lesley Crawshaw
Five-petalled flowers and their fruits, intermixed.


2015, summer,nr Bangor, Eire Photo: © Lesley Crawshaw
Long runners up to a metre or more will root at intervals when possible (but cannot in concrete).


2015, summer,nr Bangor, Eire Photo: © Lesley Crawshaw
Several flowers developing fruits.


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
As far as anyone can be reasonably sure in botany, your Author thinks this these photos at Moore Reserve are Creeping Cinquefoil, with a possible probability of 90% ± 10%. This conclusion was arrived at because all the leaves he could find had 5 leaflets, there being none with four or three, and it was creeping low along the ground, rooting at the nodes. But for possible contrary evidence - read on.


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The only evidence against this and for Hybrid Cinquefoil (Potentilla × mixta) is that not every flower has/had 5 petals, one or two (no more) might have had 4 and lost one (or maybe had 5 and lost 2? - right of centre).


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
One of these flowers now has only 4 petals, but there is at least one on the ground just below it and there does seem to be a space between the remaining 4 for that one lost petal.


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Leaves with stems longer than 1cm.


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Rear of leaves.


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Creeping Cinquefoil is said to have five petals but this specimen has six! - of which the books make no mention. But there is always the possibility of anomalies in all plants.


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are all yellow, including the anthers (when fresh).


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The anthers look like they have yellow pollen (note stray pollen on petals), so it cannot be the non-fertile hybrid Hybrid Cinquefoil (unless the pollen itself is sterile - but asking botanists that option seems not to be a possibility).


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Side elevation. Hairy flower petioles (stalks).


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
But here this flower, having lost all (probably was 4) of its petals, indisputably has only 4 sepals. Your Author is unsure whether the fruit within is actually developing. If it is, then this cannot be the sterile hybrid Hybrid Cinquefoil. But if it is sterile, then where are the leaves with less than 5 leaflets? This must be just another anomalous flower in Creeping Cinquefoil, rather than a normal flower in Hybrid Cinquefoil.
The un-opened flower bud just to the left of that shows the normal five outer bracts/sepals, and five inner sepals still encasing the inflorescence.


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
A close-up of the flower with tetra-symmetry. Ii looks like a fruit is developing but botanists cannot be sure it is viable until fully developed.


2015, summer,nr Bangor, Eire Photo: © Lesley Crawshaw
A developing fruit in the centre. Six petals, six outer sepals and six inner sepals. Hexagonal symmetry seems not so uncommon in Creeping Cinquefoil.


2015, summer,nr Bangor, Eire Photo: © Lesley Crawshaw
A normal flower with pentagonal symmetry.


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
A hairy leaflet, one of 5.


23rd June 2015, forest track, nr. Moore Reserve, Warrington, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Plan view. Because most of the evidence points towards Creeping Cinquefoil, the botanists your Author consulted think this is likely to be Creeping Cinquefoil rather than the more common Hybrid Cinquefoil which has mostly 4-petalled flowers with an admixture of 3-lobed, 4-lobed and 5-lobed leaves.


Easily mistaken for : Hybrid Cinquefoil (Potentilla × mixta) but that has leaves with an admixture of 3-, 4-, and 5-leaflets, and flowers with mainly 4-petals but with some 5-petalled flowers as well.

Hybridizes with : Tormentil (Potentilla erecta) and Trailing Tormentil (Potentilla anglica) to produce the triple-hybrid Hybrid Cinquefoil (Potentilla × mixta) which has an admixture of properties from all three plants, and which only rarely produces fruits. It is more common that Creepimg Cinquefoil. This hybrid is often difficult to identify reliably because it is so variable. The only chance your Author has in identifying one is try to find one which is as far apart as possible from all other contenders, which would therefore make it an atypical specimen... (ahem!)


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Distribution
 family8Rose family8Rosaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Potentilla
Potentilla
(Cinquefoils)

CREEPING CINQUEFOIL

Potentilla reptans

Rose Family [Rosaceae]