Sulfur cinquefoil

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Potentilla recta L.

Common name(s): sulfur cinquefoil, sulphur cinquefoil, rough-fruited cinquefoil

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– perennial

-leaves are

  • compound
  • alternate

– generally flowers June, July in ME

– may be confused with P. norvegica; see left sidebar of Go Botany webpage


-disturbed sites



Natural History:

-native to Europe



Heinrich, B. 1976. Flowering phenologies: Bog, woodland, and disturbed habitats. Ecology. 57(5):890-899.

Go Botany. “Potentilla Recta L.” Potentilla Recta (Sulphur Cinquefoil): Go Botany, 2020,