Dasiphora fruticosa

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Dasiphora fruticosa
Dasiphora fruticosa 5698.jpg
Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. floribunda
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Dasiphora
D. fruticosa
Binomial name
Dasiphora fruticosa
Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. fruticosa, Estonia

Dasiphora fruticosa is a species of hardy deciduous flowering shrub in the family Rosaceae, native to the cool temperate and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere, often growing at high altitudes in mountains. Dasiphora fruticosa is a disputed name,[1] and the plant is still widely referenced in the horticultural literature under its synonym Potentilla fruticosa. Common names include shrubby cinquefoil,[2] golden hardhack,[2] bush cinquefoil,[2] shrubby five-finger,[3] tundra rose,[citation needed] and widdy.[2]


It grows to 0.1–1 m (3.9–39.4 in) tall, rarely up to 1.5 m (4.9 ft). The habit is variably upright to sprawling or prostrate, but stems are often ascending especially those stems with many long branches. The bark of older stems is shreddy with long thin strips. The plants are densely leafy, the leaves divided into five or seven (occasionally three or nine) pinnate leaflets. The leaflets are linear-oblong, 3–20 mm (0.1–0.8 in) long, with entire margins and more or less acute ends. The foliage (both leaves and young stems) is pubescent, variably covered in fine silky, silvery hairs about 1 mm long. The flowers are produced terminally on the stems and are 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) cm across, buttercup-shaped, with five petals and 15–25 stamens; the petals are pale to bright yellow (orange to reddish in some western Chinese populations). The fruit is a cluster of achenes covered with long hairs. The species is variably dioecious or bisexual; flowering is typically from early to late summer. It is normally found growing in moisture-retentive soils in swamps and rocky areas.[4][5][6][7][8][9]


There are two subspecies:[2]

  • Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. fruticosa. Described from Yorkshire, England and Öland, Sweden.[10] Northern Europe (scattered, in Estonia, Great Britain, Ireland, Latvia, and Sweden) and northern and central Asia.[11]
  • Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. floribunda (Pursh) Kartesz (syn. Potentilla floribunda Pursh., Dasiphora floribunda (Pursh) Raf., Pentaphylloides floribunda (Pursh) A.Love). Described from Canada, New York, and New Jersey, North America.[12] Asia, southern Europe (Spain east to Bulgaria), and North America.[8][13][14][15]

Numerous varieties have been described from Asia, some of which have not yet been published under the genus Dasiphora, and others in that genus only as distinct species. These include Potentilla fruticosa var. albicans Rehd. & Wils., P. f. var. arbuscula (D.Don) Maxim. (syn. Dasiphora arbuscula (D.Don) Soják), P. f. var. dahurica (Nestl.) Ser. (syn. Dasiphora dahurica (Nestl.) Komarov), P. f. var. pumila J.D.Hooker, P. f. var. mandschurica (Maxim.) Wolf (syn. Dasiphora mandshurica (Maxim.) Juz.), and P. f. var. unifoliolata Ludlow (syn. Dasiphora unifoliolata (Ludlow) Soják). The varieties D. f. var. monticola Rydb. and D. f. var. tenuiloba Rydb. have been described from western North America, but are not widely accepted as distinct.[6][9]

Cultivation and decorative uses

A cultivar with orangey flowers
'Mckay's White' cultivar

Shrubby cinquefoil is a popular ornamental plant in temperate regions. Different cultivars are variable with flowers ranging from white to yellow, orange and pink, but they are all hardy plants that produce flowers for much of the summer. The flowers are always small, flat, and round, but there are many dozens on each bush. It is very often used by cities and businesses for landscaping because of its hardiness and low maintenance. It was introduced into cultivation in the 18th century, but many of the modern cultivars, particularly those with orange or red flowers, derive from collections by Reginald Farrer in western China in the early 20th century.[9] The vast majority of sellers and gardeners still use the old name Potentilla fruticosa.

All the characteristics of small leaves, delicate flowers, and orange to brown flaky bark make the shrubby cinquefoil suitable for Bonsai. It is very popular in Japan and is gaining popularity in Europe.[16]


Below is a recommended selection of over 130 cultivars which have been named. Those marked agm have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[9][17][18]

  • 'Abbotswood' - large white flowers and bluish green foliage. agm[19]
  • 'Beanii' - green foliage and white flowers.
  • 'Chelsea Star' - small yellow flowers. agm[20]
  • 'Coronation Triumph' - medium-bright yellow flowers, plants are drought- and cold-tolerant and heavy bloomers.
  • 'Daydawn' - salmon-pink flowers. agm
  • 'Day Dawn Viette' - peach-soft rose flowers highlighted with cream.
  • 'Elizabeth' - yellow flowers to 3.5 cm diameter.
  • 'Farreri' - leaves mostly with seven leaflets, flowers golden yellow.
  • 'Farrer's White' - as 'Farreri', but with white flowers.
  • 'Goldfinger' - deep golden-yellow flowers on plants with dark green foliage, good plant form and heavy flowering.
  • 'Groneland' - white flowers tinged yellow. agm[21]
  • 'Hopleys Orange' - orange flowers agm[22]
  • 'Jackman's Variety' - yellow flowers agm[23]
  • 'Katherine Dykes' - gracefully arching branches with lemon-yellow flowers, medium green foliage; needs regular trimming to keep from becoming leggy
  • 'King Cup' - bright yellow flowers similar to kingcup agm[24]
  • 'Klondike' - large bright yellow flowers, 3.5–4 cm diameter
  • 'Limelight' - pale yellow flowers with darker centres agm[25]
  • 'Marian Red Robin' - red flowers, yellow on reverse agm[26]
  • 'Maanelys' ('Moonlight') - leaves blue-green, flowers pale yellow
  • 'Mckay's White' - creamy white flowers
  • 'Medicine Wheel Mountain' - almost prostrate with bright yellow flowers agm[27]
  • 'Mount Everest' - flowers large, 3-3.5 cm, white
  • 'Pink Beauty' - deep pink flowers agm[28]
  • 'Pink Queen' - pink flowers
  • 'Primrose Beauty' - pale yellow flowers, silver tinted foliage; a good performer in the landscape with good habit and blooming, introduced in the Netherlands in 1955 agm[29]
  • 'Pyrenaica' - prostrate, to 20 cm tall; leaves mostly with three leaflets; flowers golden yellow
  • 'Red Ace' - bushy, upright shrub bearing profusions of single bright orange flowers from early summer to first frost
  • 'Snowbird' - double flowers with 12–15 white petals. Blooms more than 'Abbotswood' and has dark green foliage
  • 'Sommerflor' - golden yellow flowers agm[30]
  • 'Tangerine' - as 'Farreri', but with orange-red flowers
  • 'Vilmoriniana' - vigorous, to 1.3 m tall; leaves grey-white hairy, flowers ivory white to pale yellow
  • 'Walton Park' - flowers very large, 3.5–4 cm, golden yellow
  • 'William Purdom' - leaves mostly with seven leaflets, flowers pale yellow
  • 'Yellow Bird' - bright yellow semi-double flowers with 8–10 petals; medium green foliage and winter hardy, introduced from University of Manitoba agm[31]


  1. ^ "Rosaceae Potentilla fruticosa". International Plant Names Index. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Dasiphora fruticosa". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  3. ^ Weeks, S.S.; Weeks, H.P. (2012). Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest: Identification, Wildlife Values, and Landscaping Use. Purdue University Press. ISBN 9781557536105.
  4. ^ Flora of NW Europe: Potentilla fruticosa Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2
  6. ^ a b Flora of China: Potentilla fruticosa
  7. ^ Jepson Flora of California: Potentilla fruticosa
  8. ^ a b Plants of British Columbia: Pentaphylloides fruticosa
  9. ^ a b c d Huxley, A, ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening 3: 697. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  10. ^ Linnaeus, C. (1753). Species Plantarum 1: 495. Online facsimile (scroll to page 495)
  11. ^ "Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. fruticosa". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  12. ^ Pursh, F. T. (1813). Flora Americae Septentrionalis 1: 355-356. Online facsimile (scroll to pages 355-356) Archived 2008-03-05 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. floribunda". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  14. ^ Weber, William. 1976. Rocky Mountain Flora. University Press of Colorado, Niwot.
  15. ^ Carter, Jack. 2006. Trees and Shrubs of Colorado. Mimbres Publishing, New Mexico.
  16. ^ D'Cruz, Mark. "Ma-Ke Bonsai Care Guide for Potentilla fruticosa". Ma-Ke Bonsai. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  17. ^ [1][permanent dead link] Diana M Miller, June 2002. RHS plant Trials and Awards: Shrubby Potentilla
  18. ^ Poor, J. M., & Brewster, N. P. (1996). Plants that merit attention: volume II. Shrubs. Portland, Or: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-347-8 Page 204.
  19. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Abbotswood'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  20. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Chelsea Star'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  21. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Groneland'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  22. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Hopley's Orange'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  23. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Jackman's Variety'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  24. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'King Cup'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  25. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Limelight'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  26. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Marian Red Robin'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  27. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Medicine Wheel Mountain'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  28. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Pink Beauty'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  29. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Primrose Beauty'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  30. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Sommerflor'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  31. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Potentila fruticosa 'Yellow Bird'". Retrieved 28 May 2013.

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