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Credit: Flickr / Maggi_94

The resilient shrubby cinquefoil

The cinquefoil is a tough shrub perfect for just about any landscape

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Michael LeGeyt
 

Garden centres are full of delightful blooming shrubs, but few are as hardy and undemanding as our native shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa or Pentaphylloides floribunda; hardy to zone 3).

Graced by buttercup-yellow flowers on a modest bush, it hails from our province’s most challenging climates, including arid lowland plains to frigid alpine meadows.

Shrubby cinquefoil thrives in wet dense soils in dry climates as well as drained stony sites in full sun to partial shade. Choose from yellow-, white- and reddish-flowered garden forms and use almost anywhere in your landscape. Reaching no more than 1 m (3 ft.) high, it fares especially well in foundation beds and large cement planters.

Fresh or dried leaves steeped or boiled for up to 10 minutes make a refreshing tea used by First Nations to treat tuberculosis, internal bleeding and congestion.

Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.