Coastal Invasive Species Committee


Sulphur Cinquefoil

Potentilla recta





Family:  Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Easily Confused With: Graceful Cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis), which is actually native.  (BC has over 20 Cinquefoils, many of which are native).

Origin:  Eurasia

Habitat:  Open forests and grasslands.  Can grow in disturbed sites such as roadsides, rangelands and pastures

Distribution:  Southcentral and southeast coastal BC

Legal Status:  Invasive Plant Regulation (Forest and Range Practices Act), Noxious Weed (Weed Control Act)


-Ecological:  Because of its unpleasant taste, infestations decrease available forage for wildlife which in turn decreases local biodiversity.  

Description:  Sulphur Cinquefoil is a taprooted herbaceous perennial with slender, hairy stems that grow to a maximum of 2 ft tall.  The leaves are compound palmate and further divided into 5 to 7 deeply-toothed leaflets.  Its flowers have 5 pale, heart-shaped petals that surround a bright-yellow center.  Each plant can produce over 1600 seeds.  

Management Strategy:        

Pulling may be an effective control for small infestations.  It is not however effective for larger infestations.  Mowing will grow new fertile shoots.  Presently, no biocontrol methods exist for manageing Sulphur Cinquefoil.  2,4-D and Picloram have been shown to be effective when dealing with Sulphur Cinquefoil.