Potentilla neumanniana 'Nana'
Common Name: cinquefoil
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 4-8 where it is easily grown in sandy to loamy, moist but well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade, but will not grow in full shade. Established plants have respectable drought tolerance. Excellent winter hardiness, with best performance occurring in cool northern summer climates. Will reseed in the garden in optimum growing conditions. Plants often perform poorly in hot and humid summers south of USDA Zone 7. Propagate by division in spring or early fall. Semi-evergreen in mild winter areas.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Potentilla neumanniana, commonly known as spring cinquefoil, spotted cinquefoil or alpine cinquefoil, is a vigorous, procumbent, mat-forming, herbaceous perennial of the rose family that typically grows in dwarf, horizontally-trailing form to only 2-4” tall spreading to 12” wide or more. It is native to Europe. It features 5-7 palmate, deep green leaves and 5-petaled buttery-yellow flowers (1/4” diameter). Flowers bloom in loose clusters (3-5 flowered cymes) in April-May. This plant is one of the first of the cinquefoils to bloom in spring. Decumbent rooting stems (to 5” long).

Formerly known under the now considered synonymous names of P. tabernaemontani, P. verna or P. crantzii.

Genus name from Latin potens meaning powerful is in reference to the reputed medicinal properties of the plant.

Common name identifies this plant as being a cinquefoil which typically has 5 petalled flowers and 5 palmate leaves (cinq meaning five in French).

‘Nana’ is a prostrate, mat-forming, slow-growing cultivar which grows slightly shorter (2-3” tall) than the species. Spicy-scented, shiny, palmate leaves are deep green. Abundant yellow flowers appear in spring.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Interesting ground cover. Rock garden classic. Border fronts. Lawn substitute in areas where there is no foot traffic. Cover slopes. Between stepping stones/flagstones.