Potentilla recta - L.
Sulphur Cinquefoil
Other Common Names: sulphur cinquefoil
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Potentilla recta L. (TSN 24742)
French Common Names: potentille dressée
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.149705
Element Code: PDROS1B1K0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Rose Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Rosales Rosaceae Potentilla
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Potentilla recta
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (29Jul2015)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Texas (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (SNA), Saskatchewan (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, ARexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, FLexotic, GA, IAexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KSexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MOexotic, MSexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NDexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NVexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, SDexotic, TNexotic, TXexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, MBexotic, NBexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic, SKexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: High/Medium
Rounded I-Rank: High
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Potentilla recta is widespread in the U.S. It is established in every continental U.S. state except Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. Potentilla recta was first established in the Northeast and the Great Lakes region. It has recently been expanding into the western U.S. exponentially. Potentilla recta occurs in open grasslands, shrubby areas, open forest, logged areas, roadsides, waste areas, and abandoned fields. Potentilla recta is very competitive in native grasslands and can become dominant in forest habitats where tree cover has been reduced. However, it does not occur in full shade. Potentilla recta is becoming one of the most serious wildland invaders in the northern Rocky Mountains. Although Potentilla recta commonly colonizes and dominates disturbed sites, it is also capable of invading relatively undisturbed sites. It exhibits several aggressive reproductive characteristics. Control is apparently moderately difficult.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 05Apr2004
Evaluator: Tomaino, A.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to Europe and temperate Asia (GRIN 2001).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Established outside cultivation in the U.S. (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Potentilla recta is very competitive in native grasslands and can become dominant in forest habitats where tree cover has been reduced (Randall and Marinelli 1996). It is becoming one of the most serious wildland invaders in the northern Rocky Mountains (Randall and Marinelli 1996)

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Apparently, it does not possibly irreversibly alter ecosystem processes.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Moderate significance
Comments: Potentilla recta can be come a dominant member of the plant community (Crisp 2003). It can form monocultures over large areas of rangeland, roadsides, waste places, and abandoned fields (Werner and Soule 1976 in WA Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). There are no reports of of Potentilla recta growing in monospecific stands (Zouhar 2003). There is conflicting information but apparently Potentilla recta can become a dominant species.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Potentilla recta is very competitive in native grasslands and can become dominant in forest habitats where tree cover has been reduced (Randall and Marinelli 1996). Potentilla recta can be come a dominant member of the plant community (Crisp 2003). It can form monocultures over large areas of rangeland, roadsides, waste places, and abandoned fields (Werner and Soule 1976 in WA Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). There are no reports of of Potentilla recta growing in monospecific stands (Zouhar 2003). There is conflicting information but apparently Potentilla recta can become a dominant species.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Unknown

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:High/Low significance
Comments: Occurs in open grasslands, shrubby areas, open forest (WA State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). Potentilla recta is found in eastern Minnesota prairie sites (Reed 1995 in Zouhar 2003). In Montana, it occurs in ponderosa pine, douglas-fir, spruce, fir, redcedear, hemlock, bitterbrush, sumac, wheatgrass, fescue, and bluegrass communities (Rice 1993 in Zoiuhar 2003). Although Potentilla recta commonly occurs in disturbed areas, at least some of these communities may be of conservation significance.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Widespread. Established in every continental U.S. state except Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Moderate significance
Comments: Potentilla recta is very competitive in native grasslands and can become dominant in forest habitats where tree cover has been reduced (Randall and Marinelli 1996). It is becoming one of the most serious wildland invaders in the northern Rocky Mountains (Randall and Marinelli 1996). In Oregon and Washington, it is classified as highly to moderately invasive but still with a potential to spread (WNPS 1997). In the northwestern U.S., Potentilla recta can invade native plant communities that are remote from any apparent human disturbance and is now common in natural grasslands, shrubby areas, and open-canopy forests (Rice 1999 in Zouhar 2003).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High/Moderate significance
Comments: At most 95% of units, inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001). At least 20% of units, inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Occurs in open grasslands, shrubby areas, open forest and logged areas, roadsides, waste areas, and abandoned fields (WA State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). Potentilla recta occurs in the earliest stages of succession, it cannot survive under a full forest canopy (Werner and Soule 1976 in WA State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). In Michigan, it occurs in roadsides, fields, railroads, clearings, gravel pits, dry waste ground, and dry open woods such as aspen (Voss 1985). Potentilla recta is found in eastern Minnesota prairie sites (Reed 1995 in Zouhar 2003). In Montana, it occurs in ponderosa pine, douglas-fir, spruce, fir, redcedear, hemlock, bitterbrush, sumac, wheatgrass, fescue, and bluegrass communities (Rice 1993 in Zoiuhar 2003).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:High significance
Comments: Potentilla recta was established in the Northeast and the Great Lakes region by the 1950's (Randall and Marinelli 1996). Expansion into the western U.S. is now proceeding exponentially (Randall and Marinelli 1996). Its competitive ability combined with misidentification has led to its rapid spread in some parts of the country (Crisp 2003).

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Inferred from USDA (1990) and Kartesz (1999), 80-90% of its potential range in the U.S. is currently occupied.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Low significance
Comments: Little potential for long-distance dispersal (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Most seed falls to the ground near plants (Zouhar 2003). Animals are not known to disperse seeds (Zouhar 2003). However, human activities that result in movement of soil or plant material could disperse it long distances (Zouhar 2003).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: Disturbed sites are particularly susceptible to early colonization and rapid dominance by Potentilla recta (Zouhar 2003). Presumeably, its local range is expanding at least moderately.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Medium/Low significance
Comments: In the northwestern U.S., Potentilla recta can invade native plant communities that are remote from any apparent human disturbance and is now common in natural grasslands, shrubby areas, and open-canopy forests (Rice 1999 in Zouhar 2003). A moderately successful competitor in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Can germinate in vegetated areas but in a narrow range of conditions (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Highly competitive in Coconino National Forest (Crisp 2003). It is a strong competitor that reduces grass production on many rangeland sites (Rice et al. 1991 in WA State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). Disturbed sites are particularly susceptible to early colonization and rapid dominance by Potentilla recta (Zouhar 2003). However, it is also capable of invading relatively undisturbed sites (Zouhar 2003).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: In Canada, it occurs along roadsides and in waste places (Scoggon 1978). In British Columbia, it occurs in disturbed open ground, waste places, roadsides, pastures, and overgrazed grasslands (Douglas et al. 1999). It has already invaded these habitats in the region of interest.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:High significance
Comments: Potentilla recta reproduces by seed and vegetatively by sprouting from the caudex (Zoughar 2003). Seeds remain viable in the soil for more than 5 years or from 1-5 years (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Seeds remain viable in the soil for at least 3 years (Randall and Marinelli 1996). There is conflicting information but apparently Potentilla recta seeds remain viable for 3 years or more. Produces 11-1000 seeds per plant or greater than 1000 seeds per plant (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Plants may produce 1650 seeds per plant (Werner and Soule 1976 in Zouhar 2003). There is conflicting information on number of seeds produced per plant but apparently it can be more than 1000. Potentilla recta has a massive root system and plants send up new shoots after mowing (Rice et al. 1991 in WA State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). It can be spread by roots if they are moved by tillage or on soil-moving equipment (Callihan et al. 1991 in WA State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Small infestations can be removed by digging out the crown and woody rootstock. Herbicides are the only known effective control for large infestations (Randall and Marinelli 1996). Seeds remain viable in the soil for more than 5 years or from 1-5 years (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Seeds remain viable in the soil for at least 3 years (Randall and Marinelli 1996). There is conflicting information but apparently Potentilla recta seeds remain viable for 3 years or more. Mowing is not recommended; plants send up new shoots after mowing (Rice et al. 1991 in WA State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). Fire is not recommended as a control method because perennial roots are likely to survive and resprout following fire (Zouhar 2003). Correct identification is important because Potentilla recta may occur with and be confused with native cinquefoils (Zouhar 2003).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Low significance
Comments: Seeds remain viable in the soil for more than 5 years or from 1-5 years (APRS Implementation Team 2001). Seeds remain viable in the soil for at least 3 years (Randall and Marinelli 1996). There is conflicting information but apparently Potentilla recta seeds remain viable for 3 years or more.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Potentilla recta may occur with and be confused with native cinquefoils (Zouhar 2003). Presumeably control may have impacts on native species.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Because of its high tanin content, it is unpalatable to most livestock and wildlife (WA State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). It is a strong competitor that reduces grass production on many rangeland sites (Rice et al. 1991 in WA State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). Presumeably, accessibility is not a problem in >30% of the area it infests.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Alien plants ranking system (APRS) Implementation Team. 2001a. Alien plants ranking system version 7.1. Southwest Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse, Flagstaff, AZ. Online. Available: http://www.usgs.nau.edu/swepic/ (accessed 2004).

  • Cavers, P.B., ed. 1995. The Biology of Canadian Weeds. The Agricultural Institute of Canada, Ottawa.

  • Crisp, D. 2003. August 12 last update. San Francisco Peaks weed management area fact sheet on Potentilla recta. Coconino National Forest. Online. Available: http://www.usgs.nau.edu/SWEPIC/factsheets/pore5sf_plan.pdf (accessed 2 April 2004).

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, editors. 1999. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Volume 3. Dicotyledons (Diapensiaceae through Onagraceae). British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, and British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2014. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 9. Magnoliophyta: Picramniaceae to Rosaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. xxiv + 713 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Meades, S.J. & Hay, S.G; Brouillet, L. 2000. Annotated Checklist of Vascular Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador. Memorial University Botanical Gardens, St John's NF. 237pp.

  • Randall, J.M. and J. Marinelli (eds.) 1996. Invasive plants: weeds of the global garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York.

  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978-1979. The flora of Canada: Parts 1-4. National Museums Canada, Ottawa. 1711 pp.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • USDA Agricultural Research Service. 1990. USDA Plants Hardiness Zone Map. Misc. Publ. Number 1475.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2001. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.URL: http://www.ars-grin.gov/var/apache/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?6438. (Accessed 2004)

  • Voss, E.G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicotyledons. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1212 pp.

  • Washington Native Plant Society (WNPS). 1997. Preliminary List of Exotic Pest Plants of Greatest Ecological Concern in Oregon and Washington. ONLINE. http://www.wnps.org/eppclist.html. Accessed 2004, January.

  • Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. 2003. Written findings of the State Noxious Weed Control Board. Available at: http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_info/contents.html. (Accessed 2004).

  • Zouhar, Kris. 2003. Potentilla recta. In: Fire Effects Information System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Online. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ (accessed 2 April 2004).

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