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Spring Cinquefoil

Potentilla neumanniana

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Spring Cinquefoil (Potentilla neumanniana) at Homestead Gardens

Spring Cinquefoil flowers

Spring Cinquefoil flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  3 inches

Flower Height:  6 inches

Spacing:  5 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Potentilla verna, Potentilla tabernaemontana

Description:

A useful plant for rock gardens and slopes, forming low creeping mats of compound strawberry-like leaves topped with dainty golden-yellow flowers in spring; an elegant plant that needs to be seen up close

Ornamental Features

Spring Cinquefoil has cymes of yellow buttercup flowers with gold eyes dangling from the stems from mid to late spring, which are interesting on close inspection. Its small serrated oval compound leaves remain green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Spring Cinquefoil is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Spring Cinquefoil is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Spring Cinquefoil will grow to be only 3 inches tall at maturity extending to 6 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 6 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 5 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Spring Cinquefoil is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Texture 
Ornamental Features