Potentilla fruticosa

20 Aug

Potentilla fruticosa flower (24/07/2011, London)

Potentilla fruticosa flower (24/07/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: well drained soil

Flowering period: Spring and summer

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 1.5m

Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Rosaceae

Potentilla fruticosa is a deciduous shrub with a bushy habit. Its foliage is borne upon a dense branching structure in the form of pinnate, dark green, pubescent, leaves, usually composed of five leaflets with entire margins. The plant may be either dioecious or hermaphroditic with the inflorescence taking the form of saucer shaped, bright yellow, terminal flowers which last from June to October. These are occasionally followed by dry, wind-borne fruit called an achene.

Potentilla fruticosa, commonly known as the Shrubby Cinquefoil, is native to temperate regions in Asia and most of Europe including the UK. Potentilla fruticosa is synonymous with Dasiphora fruticosa. Its foliage was traditionally used as a substitute to more common types of tea in mountainous regions in Asia, where green tea was difficult to cultivate. There are over 130 cultivars of this plant.

The etymological root of the binomial name Potentilla is derived from the Latin potens, meaning ‘potent.  Fruticosa is from the Latin meaning ‘bushy’.

Potentilla fruticosa (24/07/2011, London)

Potentilla fruticosa (24/07/2011, London)

Potentilla fruticosa may be useful to the landscape architect when dealing with troublesome, hard to maintain areas such as slopes and banks. An effective informal hedge may be formed by a row of this plant. It is also tolerant of coastal regions and is drought resistant once established.

The royal horticultural society have given numerous cultivars of Potentilla fruticosa their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Potentilla fruticosa will tolerate almost any soil conditions; it will be happy at neutral, alkaline or acid pH levels, in loam, chalk or sand based soils, facing any sheltered or exposed aspect

Ecologically, Potentilla fruticosa will attract various species of pollinating insects such as honey bees and butterflies.

Potentilla fruticosa requires little to no maintenance. Dead or damaged material may be removed in mid to late spring. Softwood cuttings of this plant may be taken in early summer.


One Response to “Potentilla fruticosa”


  1. Potentilla fruiticosa | Jmbtravels - 31/01/2012

    […] Plant of the Week: Potentilla fruticosa « landscape architecture Blog […]

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