The common name "Cinquefoil" in the Middle English Dictionary is described as "Pentafilon" (From Greek Pentaphyllon) influenced by foil, a leaf. The word is derived from Old French cinc, Middle English cink and ultimately Latin quinque, all meaning "five", and feuille and foil/foille which mean "leaf". Formerly this term referred to five-leaved plants in general. In medieval times, the word "cinquefoil" was used almost exclusively in England. In France, the genus was called quintefeuille, first attested in Normandy and Brittany in the 11th century (Wikipedia contributors). The species name means strange or paradoxical and comes from the unusual prominent corky enlarged bases of the carpels (Fernald 1970).
There are four existing populaitions but they are all small with fewer than 30 plants each. There are six historical occurrences from the late 1800s to 1917. Most of these have not been surveyed again.
Records surveys suggest a slight decline in several of the populations over the past two decades but more survey effort is needed.
Only one of the sites was known historically so the long-term trend is unclear.
The plants may be subject to flooding, trampling by fishermen, campers, and other users of its habitat.
Restrict public access to its habitat during flowering and fruiting season.
There are no known research needs at this time.
All of the New York collections of Bushy Cinquefoil have been from Lake Ontario and Lake Erie shorelines, including cobble bars, inaccessible shale outcrops, and sandy beaches. (NYHP 2013). Moist or wet soil (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). Loose sand of a barrier beach (Voss 1985). Prairies, bottoms, shores and damp places (Fernald 1950).
Bushy Cinquefoil is restricted to the shorelines of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, from Cayuga county in the northeast to Chautauqua county in the southwest.
Bushy Cinquefoil reaches the eastern limit of its distribution in at Lake Ontario, its range extends through all the Canadian Provinces, and through most of the Pacific Northwest and Great Plains states, south to Texas and Louisiana.
Potentilla paradoxa is an annual or short-lived perennial forb with reclining (decumbent) to arching stems that often grow parallel along the ground for the first 5 cm before turning upwards, and reaching 20 to 50 cm at maturity. The leaves are mostly pinnate (occasionally with some trifoliate leaves) with 7 to 11 leaflets including 2 to 5 distant pairs of small egg-shaped (with the narrow end attached) or oblong leaflets that have rounded teeth and pointed sinuses. The flowers are borne in a leafy, open-branching, elongated, loosely clustered, round- topped inflorescence. The petals are yellow and 1.5 to 2.5 wide, with deeply notched tips, and equal or exceed the calyx, which is covered in long stiff hairs. The fruits are longitudinally-ribbed achenes with a prominent corky enlargement along the underside (Britton and Brown 1913).
Potentilla paradoxa is annual or short-lived perennial forb with reclining (decumbant) to arching stems that often grow parallel along the ground for the first 5 cm before turning upwards, and reaching 20 to 50 cm at maturity. The leaves are mostly pinnate (occasionally with some trifoliate leaves) with 7 to 11 leaflets including 2 to 5 distant pairs of small egg-shaped (with narrow end attached) or oblong leaflets that have rounded teeth and pointed sinuses. The flowers are borne in a leafy, open branching, elongated, loosely clustered, rounded topped inflorescence with the terminal flower first to bloom (panicled cyme). The flowers are yellow 1.5 to 2.5 wide, with deeply notched tips, and equal or exceed the calyx which is covered in long stiff hairs (hirsute). The fruits are longitudinally-ribbed achenes with a prominent corky enlargement along the underside (ventral) where the two edges join (suture). (Britton and Brown 1913)
Potentilla paradoxa may be positively identified vegetatively based on leaf morphology and the plant's habitat. A description of the plant's habitat and mature fruits or flowers are preferred for positive identification, ideally in combination with the entire plant stem including intact leaves.
Potentilla norvegica may resemble a dwarfed P. paradoxa. Potentilla norvegica has 3 leaflets, never more. The achenes are usually ridged. It is found in a wide variety of habitats, including the wet sand, wet rock, and shorelines indicative of P. paradoxa.
Flowers begin to appear mid to late June and continue through mid-August. Fruiting typically begins in early July with fruits persisting until late September.
The time of year you would expect to find Bushy Cinquefoil flowering and fruiting in New York.
Potentilla supina ssp. paradoxa (Nutt.) Sojak
Britton, N.L. and A. Brown. 1913. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada. 3 vol. Dover Publications, Inc., NY. 2052 pp.
Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.
Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.
Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.
McCance, Robert M., Jr. and James F. Burns, editors. 1984. Ohio endangered and threatened vascular plants: Abstracts of state-listed taxa. Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Department of Natural Resources. Columbus, OH. 635 pp.
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2023. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.
Voss, E.G. 1985. Michigan Flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae - Cornaceae). Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 724 pp.
Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/, Albany, New York
This guide was authored by: Stephen M. Young, Elizabeth Spencer, Richard M. Ring.
Information for this guide was last updated on: April 2, 2013
Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2023. Online Conservation Guide for Potentilla supina ssp. paradoxa. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/bushy-cinquefoil/. Accessed May 29, 2023.