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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Macoun's Cinquefoil - Potentilla macounii
Other Names:  Potentilla concinna var. macounii

Status Under Review

Global Rank: G3?
State Rank: S3S4
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
See rank details. Species is endemic to Montana and adjacent Alberta with most of its range in Montana. Population size, trends and potential threats are poorly documented.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Macoun's Cinquefoil (Potentilla macounii) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 11/05/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score1-2 - Small to Moderate. Population size is imprecisely known but is believed to be >2,000 individuals and <100,000 individuals.

    CommentEstimated. Population levels are undocumented.

    Range Extent

    Score2 - Regional or State Endemic or Small Montana Range: Generally restricted to an area <100,000 sq. miles (equivalent to 2/3 the size of Montana or less) or Montana contributes 50% or more of the species’ range or populations OR limited to 2-3 Sub-basins in Montana.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score0-1 - Moderate to High. Occurs in >10 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s), though the species' distribution is not sufficiently documented to place it within one class.

    Environmental Specificity

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate.


    ScoreNA - Rank factor not assessed.


    ScoreNA - Rank factor not assessed.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 5 to 11 total points scored out of a possible 19.

General Description
Perennial with a branched caudex clothed in old leaf bases. Stems prostrate to ascending, sericeous, 3–10 cm. Leaf blades cordate-ovate, pinnately divided into 5 to 7 pinnately toothed leaflets, 5–15 mm long, sparsely to densely sericeous above, white-tomentose beneath. Inflorescence a few-flowered, sericeous cyme with spreading branches. Flowers: sepals broadly lanceolate, 4–7 mm long with narrower bracteoles 3–5 mm long; petals yellow, 5–8 mm long, truncate. Achenes smooth, ca. 2 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Barry Johnston in his 1991 monograph of Potentilla section Multijugae supports recognition of this taxon at the specific level, in a section different from that of P. concinna. This he based on characters of style shape and texture and leaf lobing pattern. However, this monograph is a Doctoral thesis so did not undergo the same peer-review process that a published article would. More research is needed.

Range Comments
Endemic to MT and adjacent AB and WY (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Sandy to gravelly, shallow, often calcareous soil of grasslands, woodlands, outcrops; valleys, montane (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

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Citation for data on this website:
Macoun's Cinquefoil — Potentilla macounii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from