Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Potentilla villosa
northern cinquefoil, villous cinquefoil

Distribution: Occurring in the North Cascades, Olympic Mountains, and at Mt. Rainier in Washington; Alaska to Oregon.

Habitat: Arctic tundra to alpine ridges, talus slopes and rock crevices.

Flowers: July-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Tufted perennial from a branched crown and short, thick rhizomes, the stems 5-20 cm. tall, with soft, gray hairs throughout.


Leaves ternate, the leaflets somewhat leathery, woolly below, strongly veined, obovate, 1-2 cm. long, coarsely dentate, the teeth rounded; cauline leaves 2, sub-sessile, only slightly reduced.


Inflorescence open, 2-5 flowered; calyx 7-11 mm. long, the 5 lobes triangular, 3.5-4.5 mm. long, equal to the alternating, oval-elliptic bracteoles; petals 5, yellow, obcordate, exceeding the sepals; stamens 20; pistils numerous, style sub-terminal, basally thickened and tapered, equal to the achene;


Achene 1 mm. long, smooth.

Accepted Name:
Potentilla villosa Pall. ex Pursh
Publication: Fl. Amer. Sept. (Pursh) 1: 353 (-354). 1813.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Potentilla fragiformis var. villosa Regel Tiling
Potentilla grandiflora var. villosa Kurtz
Potentilla nivea L. var. villosa (Pall. ex Pursh) Regel & Tiling
Potentilla villosa Pall. ex Pursh var. parviflora C.L. Hitchc. [HC]
Potentilla villosula Jurtzev, misapplied
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Potentilla villosa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Potentilla villosa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Potentilla villosa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Potentilla villosa photos.

USDA Plants: Potentilla villosa information.

20 photographs:
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