Sulphur cinquefoil

Potentilla recta

Sulphur cinquefoil is a perennial herb and is a tufted plant growing from a woody taproot or caudex. It produces upright to erect leafy stems up to 80 cm (31 in) tall. The upper part of the stem is branched and densely hairy, and it also bears some glandular hairs. The lower leaves have long stalks and the stem leaves are arranged alternately and have short stalks. All the leaves are palmate, divided into usually six or seven leaflets, sometimes up to nine, with the uppermost ones just having three leaflets. The green to yellow-green leaves may be up to 15 cm (6 in) long, with the central leaflet reaching 8 cm (3.1 in) in length. The leaflets are linear-lanceolate, hairy in texture and toothed along the edges. The inflorescence is a cyme of several flowers which are generally light to pale yellow in color, with white to gold-flowered individuals occurring at times. Each flower has five calyxlobes, five broad, shallowly-notched petals, thirty stamens, many pistils and a separate gynoecium. The fruit is a receptacle containing several glossy, pale brown achenes. The plant may reproduce by seed or vegetatively by sprouting new shoots from its caudex. Sulphur cinquefoil flowers from June to August.

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