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Botanical Name: Potentilla simplex
Species: P. simplex
Common Names: Common cinquefoil, Old-field five-fingers, Oldfield cinquefoil
Habitat: Potentilla simplex is native to eastern North America from Ontario, Quebec, and Labrador south to Texas, Alabama, and panhandle Florida.It grows in dry open woods, prairie hillsides, roadsides, old fields and waste places.
otentilla simplex is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is a familiar plant with prostrate stems that root at nodes, with yellow flowers and 5-parted palmately pinnate leaves arising from stolons (runners) on separate stalks. Complete flowers bearing 5 yellow petals (about 4-10 mm long) bloom from March to June. It bears seed from April to July. It is commonly found in woodlands, fields, and disturbed areas.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Pollinators include mason bees, small carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, halictid bees, syrphid flies, tachinid flies, blow flies, and others. Less common pollinators are wasps and butterflies. Rabbits and groundhogs eat the foliage.
Easily grown in a well-drained loam, preferring a position in full sun but tolerating shade. Prefers an alkaline soil but tolerates a slightly acid soil. Plants grown in rich soils produce more foliage at the expense of flowering. Hardy to about -25°c. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Seed – sow early spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.
Edible Uses: Young shoots and leaves are edible as a salad or pot herb.
The plant is mildly astringent and antiseptic. A decoction is used as a gargle for loose teeth and spongy gums. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of dysentery.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.