Shrubby cinquefoil

Dasiphora fruticosa

Common Names: Shrubby cinquefoil, Shrubby five-fingers

  • Showy, bright yellow flowers.
  • Grows between the wettest parts of the beach and the adjacent uplands.
  • Can be short and straggly or robust and compact.
  • Range up to 39 inches tall and have shredded bark.

Native or Invasive: Native shrub

Characteristics: Attractive shrubs range from short and sparse to robust and compact. They typically grow to just over three feet tall and have brown shredded bark along their woody stems. The flowers are bright and hold five petals. The blossoms can grow singly or in groups of a few at the ends of branches and bloom from late May to early September. The plant is abundant along the coastline throughout the Great Lakes region, especially on calcareous (alkaline) and marly (limestone) shores.

Habitat: Moist gravel and sand beaches.

Fun Fact: It is one of the first shrubs to colonize beaches where it adds significantly to the stability of the soil.

Ethnobotanical Uses: None listed, though, other cinquefoils have been used to treat sore throats, stomach pain, and general aches and pains. It is often cultivated for its attractive flowers.

Adapted from Guide to Great Lakes Coastal Plants, by Ellen Elliott Weatherbee, University of Michigan Press.