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Tree Campus: Shrubby Cinquefoil/Potentilla

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Shrubby Cinquefoil/Potentilla

Dasiphora (Potentilla) fruticosa (ROSACEAE)



Northern N. Hemisphere



"Though it has low forage value, shrubby cinquefoil's widespread distribution, persistent leaves, and low spreading growth form make it an important source of forage for ungulates. Small birds and mammals consume shrubby cinquefoil seeds. Shrubby cinquefoil provides fair cover for mule deer and has a high cover value for upland game birds and small mammals. It is also an important source of nesting and hiding cover for numerous songbirds." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"On northern and western grasslands, shrubby cinquefoil commonly occurs with rough fescue, which may benefit from the protection afforded by shrubby cinquefoil. Rough fescue may experience increased vigor as a result, and on some sites may fail to set seed without the presence of shrubby cinquefoil.

Due to its virtually continuous summer blooming, shrubby cinquefoil is a valuable landscape ornamental, and is recommended for landscaping in deer winter range areas because it is seldom browsed.

The dried leaves of shrubby cinquefoil were commonly used by Native Americans to make tea. Dried leaves were also made into a mixture considered an arrow poison that was thought to go directly to the heart. Dried, finely powdered leaves were believed to protect the body from severe, temporary heat." [1]



"Shrubby cinquefoil is useful for erosion control and soil stabilization, and may be useful in wildlife habitat mitigation." [1]



[1] Anderson, Michelle D. 2001. Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. floribunda. In: Fire Effects Information System,. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available:

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