Potentilla rupestris
Common Name: rock cinquefoil
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Europe, Siberia, China
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White with yellow stamens
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, 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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Potentilla rupestris, commonly known as rock cinquefoil, is a vigorous, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial of the rose family that typically grows in a mound to 8-18” tall with a similar spread. It is native from Europe to central Asia. Each plant features a clump of basal leaves (3-6” long), with each leaf being divided into 5 to 7 round-toothed, ovate to roundish, 3/4” to 2” long leaflets. Upper leaves typically have 3 leaflets. White 5-petaled flowers (each 1/2 to 1 1/4” wide) feature a center boss of yellow stamens. Flowers bloom May-June in loose branched clusters (2-5 flowered cymes).

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

Specific epithet means rock-loving.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens. Border fronts.