SULPHUR CINQUEFOIL

Potentilla recta

Rose Family [Rosaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A nominally erect plant growing to 70cm high. (These were half-procumbent in grasses and other plants). The upper stem is branched.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
It is a perennial with a woody tap-root.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flower colour can vary: these specimens are yellow, but the plant derives its' common name from the pale sulphur-yellow ones [shown near the foot of this page], (which were but a few hundred yards away from these). White varieties also exist.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Five petals, which are longer than the sepals.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Multiple paddle-shaped yellow stamens in encircling a central mound of many separate carpels, all concolorous with the petals.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers large about 20-25mm across.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Unlike buttercups which have no epicalyx and no cup below the flower Cinquefoils have an epicalyx of 5 (sometimes only 4), with the same number of sepals.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Sulphur Cinquefoil is hairy, with long seemingly-white hairs, especially around the sepals.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Alternating sepals (the wide bracts) and epicalyx (the narrow bracts) [or so your Author thinks...]. Both are tapering, the sepals especially so.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flower buds not yet opened. Long white (transparent actually) hairs.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A young flower bud.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaves alternate up the stem.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaves palmate with between 5 to 7 leaflets. Leaflets coarsely toothed.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A very convincing example of Sulphur Cinquefoil with pale-yellow petals as the books say. But as you can see above, there are also very yellow versions to be found. Sepals shorter than petals.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Anthers bearing pollen. A bulge develops in the centre shaped like a Pineapple Weed inflorescence.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
After flowering the sepals and epicalyx close up to contain the seeds.


26th Aug 2016, Formby Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The seeds are tiny, asymmetric and flattish with fingerprint type ridges on each side, some in whorls. They are easily blown by the wind; indeed many blew away from my palm before I could photograph them!


Easily confused with : other Cinquefoils but the flowers are larger, usually sulphur-coloured and hairy, amongst other characteristics highlighted in the captions.

Not to be semantically confused with : Sulphur Clover (Trifolium ochroleucon) [a plant with similar name belonging to a differing family]. Nor with Potentilla erecta (Tormentil) whose specific epithet nearly matches that of Sulphur Cinquefoil (namely erecta).

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

No relation to : Flower () [a plant with similar name].


  Potentilla recta  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Rosaceae  

Distribution
 family8Rose family8Rosaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Potentilla
Potentilla
(Cinquefoils)

SULPHUR CINQUEFOIL

Potentilla recta

Rose Family [Rosaceae]