One-flowered Cinquefoil - Potentilla uniflora
(see State Rank Reason below)
MNPS Threat Rank
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
In Montana, mostly known from Glacier National Park. The species does not appear to be at any significant risk of extirpation in Montana as a result of relatively large population numbers and due to the apparent lack of threats to the known populations or the species' habitat.
One-flowered Cinquefoil is an herbaceous perennial with erect or ascending stems 5-15 cm high that arise from a branched rootcrown. The basal leaves have slender petioles and 3 deeply toothed, elliptic leaflets 1-2 cm long. The 1-2 alternate stem leaves are similar but much smaller. The lower leaf surfaces and upper stems are densely covered with long, tangled, gray hairs, while the upper surfaces, petioles, and lower stems are sparsely covered with stiff, straight hairs. 1-2 stalked flowers are borne at the top of the stem. The saucer-shaped flowers have 5 lance-shaped, long-hairy sepals 3-4 mm long, 5 yellow, oblong petals 4-5 mm long with shallowly lobed tips, 20 stamens, and numerous pistils. The slender style is attached near the top of the achene, which is finely bumpy near its base.
Flowering in late June - July.
There are many similar-appearing species of Potentilla. A technical key and hand lens or microscope are required for positive determination. Potentilla nivea has lower stems and petioles that are covered with long tangled hairs; P. hyparctica has leaves that are only sparsely hairy beneath.
AK to QC south to OR, CO; Siberia (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Open, gravelly slopes and ridgetops in the alpine zone.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Commonly Associated with these Ecological Systems
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Fertig, W. and M. Bynum. 1994. Biological report on the proposed Twin Lakes Research Natural Area. Unpublished report to the Shoshone National Forest. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, Wyoming. 33 pp. plus appendices.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.