Plants for Water Wise Pollinator Gardens: Shrubby Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa Pursh)

Plant Family

Rose family (Rosaceae)

Note: Shrubby cinquefoil was recently reclassified as Dasiphora fruticosa (L.) and subspeciesDasiphora floribunda (Pursh), Also see Pentaphylloides floribunda

Bee visiting Shrubby cinquefoil Photo credit: tuxbrother Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Shrubby cinquefoil flowers and foliage Photo credit: J. N. Stuart Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Common Names

Potentilla, Shrubby potentilla, Bush cinquefoil, Widdy, Golden hardhack


  • Shrubby cinquefoil is a long lived native shrub distributed throughout the northern and western US, Alaska, and throughout Canada
  • It is also native to northern Europe and Asia
  • Many cultivars of this popular shrub have been developed for the nursery trade
  • A profusion of small yellow flowers bloom from late summer through frost
  • Cultivars are available with white, pink, orange, and red flowers
  • Colors other than yellow tend to fade in summer heat
  • This twiggy shrub has small fine leaves
  • Grows from 12 to 48 inches tall and wide
  • Requires full sun
  • Tolerates poor dry soils with little or no additional fertilizer
  • This species is very cold tolerant and survives in USDA Zones 2 through 7
  • Grows well at high elevations


adult and caterpillars of moths and butterflies
flea beetle

Additional Resources:

USDA Plants Database
FEIS Database – Species: Dasiphora floribunda


Nevada – Shrubby cinquefoil, bush cinquefoil


Illinois Wildflowers – Shrubby cinquefoil


North Carolina Plant Fact Sheet (Cultivars)