The green links below add additional plants to the comparison table. Blue links lead to other Web sites.
enable glossary links

sheep cinquefoil

Habit Plants rosetted to ± matted; taproots sometimes ± fleshy-thickened.

prostrate to ascending, (0.3–)0.8–2(–3.5) dm, lengths (1–)1.5–3 times basal leaves.

Basal leaves

pinnate with distal leaflets ± distinct, (1.5–)2–10(–13) × 0.7–3.5(–5) cm;

petiole 0.5–3.5(–5) cm, straight hairs sparse to abundant, sometimes absent (var. decurrens), ± appressed to ascending, 1 mm, ± stiff, cottony hairs absent, glands sparse, often obscured;

primary lateral leaflets 3–6 per side (often with additional interspersed leaflets), on distal 1/2–2/3(–3/4) of leaf axis, ± separate to ± overlapping, largest ones narrowly cuneate-oblanceolate to ± obovate, (0.3–)0.5–2(–3.5) × (0.2–)0.3–0.8(–1) cm, distal 1/4 to whole margin unevenly to pinnately (at least distal leaflets of var. ovina) incised 1/2–3/4+ to midvein, ultimate teeth 2–9(–11), linear or oblong to ovate, 1–7(–9) × 1–2 mm, apical tufts 0.5–2 mm, surfaces green to grayish, not glaucous, straight hairs sparse to abundant (sparser adaxially), sometimes absent (except on margins), loosely appressed, 0.5–2 mm, ± stiff, cottony hairs absent, crisped hairs sometimes sparse to common, glands absent or inconspicuous.

Cauline leaves



(1–)2–11(–20)-flowered, usually openly cymose.


(0.8–)1–2(–4) cm, straight to ± recurved in fruit.


epicalyx bractlets linear-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, sometimes doubled, 2–3.5(–5) × 1 mm;

hypanthium 3–5 mm diam.;

sepals 3.5–5.5(–7) mm, apex acute to obtuse;

petals 4–7(–8) × 3.5–8 mm;

filaments 1–2.5 mm, anthers 0.4–1 mm usually ± 1/2 as long as filaments;

carpels 10–20, styles 2–3 mm.


1.5–2 mm, smooth, not carunculate.

Potentilla ovina


Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).

Potentilla ovina is here accepted as an implicit new name by J. M. Macoun for P. diversifolia var. pinnatisecta, in agreement with N. H. Holmgren (1997b). In contrast, B. C. Johnston (1980) considered the names heterotypic. Potentilla ovina has priority at the species rank over P. pinnatisecta by one month.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
Parent taxa Rosaceae > subfam. Rosoideae > tribe Potentilleae > Potentilla > sect. Multijugae
Sibling taxa
P. albiflora, P. ambigens, P. anachoretica, P. angelliae, P. anglica, P. anserina, P. arenosa, P. argentea, P. arizonica, P. basaltica, P. bicrenata, P. biennis, P. biflora, P. bimundorum, P. bipinnatifida, P. brevifolia, P. breweri, P. bruceae, P. brunnescens, P. canadensis, P. concinna, P. cottamii, P. crantzii, P. crebridens, P. crinita, P. cristae, P. demotica, P. drummondii, P. effusa, P. elegans, P. erecta, P. flabellifolia, P. fragiformis, P. furcata, P. glaucophylla, P. gracilis, P. grayi, P. hickmanii, P. hippiana, P. holmgrenii, P. hookeriana, P. hyparctica, P. inclinata, P. intermedia, P. jepsonii, P. johnstonii, P. lasiodonta, P. litoralis, P. macounii, P. millefolia, P. modesta, P. morefieldii, P. multijuga, P. multisecta, P. nana, P. newberryi, P. nivea, P. norvegica, P. paucijuga, P. pedersenii, P. pensylvanica, P. plattensis, P. pseudosericea, P. pulchella, P. pulcherrima, P. recta, P. reptans, P. rhyolitica, P. rimicola, P. rivalis, P. robbinsiana, P. rubella, P. rubricaulis, P. sanguinea, P. saximontana, P. sierrae-blancae, P. simplex, P. sterilis, P. stipularis, P. subgorodkovii, P. subjuga, P. subvahliana, P. subviscosa, P. supina, P. thurberi, P. thuringiaca, P. tikhomirovii, P. townsendii, P. uliginosa, P. uschakovii, P. vahliana, P. verna, P. versicolor, P. villosa, P. villosula, P. vulcanicola, P. wheeleri
Subordinate taxa
P. ovina var. decurrens, P. ovina var. ovina
1.Distal leaflets: ± whole margin pinnately incised 3/4+ to midvein, teeth 4–9(–11), linear, surfaces grayish, rarely green, hairs sparse to dense.P. ovina var. ovina
1.Distal leaflets: distal 1/4–1/2(–3/4) of margin unevenly to pinnately incised 1/2–2/3(–3/4) to midvein, teeth 2–5(–7), ovate to oblong, surfaces green, hairs absent (except on margins) or sparse.P. ovina var. decurrens
Synonyms P. diversifolia var. pinnatisecta, P. pinnatisecta, P. plattensis var. pinnatisecta
Name authority J. M. Macoun: Canad. Rec. Sci. 6: 464. (1896)
Source Flora of North America vol. 9, p. 171.
Web links