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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Tansy Cinquefoil - Potentilla bipinnatifida

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Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status


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General Description
Perennials from stout, branched caudex; stems 20-50 cm tall, erect or decumbent at base, pubescent with short and long hairs (spreading to ascending) or nearly glabrous. Petioles equaling or exceeding lenght of leaf blade. Basal leaves 10-25 cm, pinnate, often appearing digitate; leaflets 5-7(-9), crowded, up to 6 cm long by 3 cm wide, divided to nearly midrib, the segments 1.5-3.0 mm wide, greyish-green above and more or less pubescent (hairs long and short) or glabrous; lower surface whitish and tomentose with longer appressed (=sericeous) hairs or occasionally green and glabrous. Stem leaves similar to basal but short-petiolate. Inflorescnce open or congested, many-flowered. Flowers 6-10 mm diameter. Sepals 3-4 mm long, ovate, bractlets of epicalyx shorter and narrower than sepals. Petals obcordate to somewhat squarish, shorter than sepals, yellow. Achenes ca. 1 mm long (adapted from: Flora of Alberta, 1994, 2nd ed., revised).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
MT east to MN, south to UT and CO (Kartesz in prep. 2012).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 56

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Dry prairies and open slopes (Flora of Alberta, 1994, 2nd ed., revised).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus bifarius, Bombus fervidus, Bombus frigidus, Bombus rufocinctus, Bombus occidentalis, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus flavidus (Thorp et al. 1983, Wilson et al. 2010, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Colla et al. 2011, Koch and Strange 2012, Koch et al. 2012, Williams et al. 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S., L. Richardson, and P. Williams. 2011. Bumble bees of the eastern United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 103 p.
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
    • Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
    • Koch, J.B. and J.P. Strange. 2012. The status of Bombus occidentalis and B. moderatus in Alaska with special focus on Nosema bombi incidence. Northwest Science 86:212-220.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
    • Wilson, J.S., L.E. Wilson, L.D. Loftis, and T. Griswold. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist 70(2): 198-207.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Tansy Cinquefoil — Potentilla bipinnatifida.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from