CWMA

PO Box 419

Hotchkiss, CO 81419

 

970-361-8262

fax: 720-880-3051


Email:contact@cwma.org

 

 

Sulfur cinquefoil

Potentilla recta L.

 

Keys to Identification

  • Leaves are palmately compound, have 5-7 toothed leaflets, and somewhat resemble a marijuana leaf.
  • Light-yellow flowers have five petals that are deeply notched.
  • Leaf stalks have perpendicular hairs longer than the width of the stalk.

This information courtesy of the Colorado Natural Areas Program

 

Family: Rose (Rosaceae)

 

Other Names: rough-fruited cinquefoil

 

USDA Code: PORE5

 

Legal Status: Colorado Noxious Weed List B

 

 

Identification

Lifecycle: Perennial

 

Growth form: Forb

 

Flower: Flowers are light-yellow with 5 petals

 

Seeds/Fruit: Each flower produces numerous small seeds (.05 in long) that are slightly flattened

 

Leaves: Leaves are alternate, palmately compound with 5-7 toothed leaflets on each leaf. Leafstalks have conspicuous perpendicular hairs, and leaves appear green on the underside. Most native cinqufoils in Colorado have light colored hairs on the underside of the leaves.

 

Stems: Mature plants are 1-1.5 ft tall with one to several stems growing from well-developed rootstocks (Whitson et al. 1996)

 

Roots: Fibrous roots and lateral rhizomes

 

Seedling: No information available

 

 

Similar Species

Natives: Potentilla sp.

 

 

Impacts

Agricultural: Sulfur cinquefoil is unpalatable to grazing animals, therefore it reduces forage for livestock and wildlife where it is abundant (Rice 1999)

 

Ecological: Sulfur cinquefoil is a competitive early successional weed that persists until a woody cover is present. It can dominate a site after within 2-3 years of first appearance (FEIS 1998). Sulfur cinquefoil has a long lifespan, and twenty year old plants are not uncommon (FEIS 1998). Sulfur cinquefoil has been known to invade bluebunch wheatgrass rangeland in good condition (FEIS 1998). In Montana, it is actually out-competing spotted knapweed on some sites (FEIS 1998).

 

 

Habitat and Distribution

General requirements: Although colonies of sulfur cinquefoil can be found in undisturbed sites, it is commonly found in disturbed grasslands, shrubby areas, and old fields. Sulfur cinquefoil grows on dry sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils, and prefers climates that receive from 13-50 in annual precipitation.

 

Distribution: Naturalized throughout much of North America. It is typically found in low to middle elevations in the Intermountain west

 

Historical: Sulfur cinquefoil is a native of Eurasia that was first introduced into North America before 1900 (FEIS 1998)

 

 

Biology/Ecology

Life cycle: Seeds of sulfur cinquefoil may germinate at any time during the growing season provided soil moisture is adequate. However, seeds don’t germinate when temperatures are high (usually during July and August). Growth begins early in spring. Sulfur cinquefoil flowers from May to July with peak flowering generally occurring in late June.

 

Mode of reproduction: Sulfur cinquefoil has an unusual means of vegetative reproduction. Annual regrowth each spring eventually causes individual plants to become several closely-spaced independent plants. Also, plants that are knocked to the ground can produce roots at the nodes.

 

Seed production: No information available

 

Seed bank: Seeds may remain viable in the soil for more than four years

 

Dispersal: No information available

 

 

 

References

Duncan, C.L. 1993. Chemical control of sulfur cinquefoil on range and pasture. In: Proceedings of the Montana Weed Control Association Clanay, MT. pg. 11-13.

 

FEIS - Fire Effects Information System [Online] (1996, September). Prescribed Fire and Fire Effects Research Work Unit, Rocky Mountain Research Station (producer), US Forest Service. Available: www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [1998,March 12]

 

Rice, P. 1999. Sulfur cinquefoil. In R.L. Sheley and J.K. Petroff (eds.) Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis. pg. 382-388.

 

Whitson, T.D.(ed.), L.C. Burrill, S.A. Dewey, D.W. Cudney, B.E. Nelson, R.D. Lee, R. Parker. 1996. Sulfur cinquefoil. Weeds of the West. Western Society of Weed Science, in cooperation with the Western United States Land Grant Universities Cooperative Extension Services, Newark CA. pg. 536.

 

 

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