Potentilla fruticosa 'SMPFMY' CHEESEHEAD

Common Name: shrubby cinquefoil 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers evenly moist soils. Best flowering occurs in full sun, but plants tolerate part shade. Established plants grow well in a wide range of conditions and have good drought tolerance. Plants have excellent winter hardiness and perform best in cool northern summer climates. It is not recommended for planting in the southeastern U.S. south of USDA Zone 7 where they tend to struggle with high summer heat and humidity. Prune as needed in late winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Potentila fruticosa, commonly called shrubby cinquefoil, is a vigorous, floriferous, many-branched, compact, deciduous shrub that is native to northern parts of the U.S., Canada, Europe and Northern Asia. It typically grows in a mound to 2-4’ tall on branches clad with compound-pinnate, medium to blue-green leaves (usually 5 narrow elliptic leaflets each). Saucer-shaped, 5-petaled, yellow flowers (to 1.5” diameter) appear over a long summer bloom period.

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

Specific epithet means shrublike.

The common name of cinquefoil is in reference to the leaves (cinq means five and foil means leaf). Additional common names include yellow rose, fivefingers, golden hardhack and widdy.

'SMPFMY' CHEESEHEAD is a compact, yellow flowering cultivar with a dense growth habit. It reaches around 2' tall and wide at maturity. An abundance of bright yellow blooms appear from late spring into late summer. It has finely textured, deciduous foliage. Developed at Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan and plant patent number PP28890 applies to this cultivar.


Mildew may occur in some humid climates. Fungal leaf spots. Spider mites will sometimes appear. Resistant to deer and rabbit browse.


Low hedge, mixed or shrub border, foundation. Versatile, long-blooming shrub for sunny parts of the landscape.