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Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (Aiton) Rydb.

Potentilla tridentata

Potentilla retusa O.F. Müll. nom. utique rej.

Sibbaldia tridentata (Aiton) Paule & Soják

Potentilla tridentata Aiton

Three-toothed cinquefoil

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderRosalesRose family and eight others
FamilyRosaceaeIncludes apples, apricots, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, almonds, roses, meadowsweets, photinias, firethorns, rowans, and hawthorns; many others
GenusSibbaldiopsisFrom Sibbaldia, for Sir Robert Sibbald (1641-1722), Scottish physician and antiquary; and the suffix -opsis, “resembling”
SpeciestridentataThree-toothed

About plant names...

Three-toothed cinquefoil is a diminutive evergreen plant with a fondness for acid soils and alpine and subalpine habitats: cliffs, ledges, grasses, meadows and fields. All the photos here, at least when I wrote this article, were found on mountains. It is a North American native.

Plants: Plants form low, evergeen mats, 1-8" (2.5-20 cm) tall. Lower stems are woody and gray, while upper stems are light green to red in color.

Leaves: Leaves are alternate and elliptic. Each leaf is com­prised of three leaflets arranged in a palmate (palm-like) cluster. Each leaflet is up to 1½" (3.8 cm) × ½" (1.3 cm), with three teeth at the end. It is glossy dark green on top, and light green beneath. Lower leaves are attached via stems, while upper leaves may be directly attached. In sunny areas, leaves turn deep red in the fall.

Flowers: White, ¼-½" (8.4-12 mm) around, with 5 petals and 5 pale green sepals between. Flowers often appear in dense clusters. Petals are oval or egg-shaped, and often wrinkly. An exhuberant spray of stamens almost as long as the petals explodes from the center. Flowers appear from June to August.

Fruits: The sepals at the base of each flower dry up, folding around the developing tiny seeds.

Online References:

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata at Illinois Wildflowers

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata at Minnesota Wildflowers

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata on gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)

6/3/2018 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)

6/13/2011 · Mount Washington, 6288', NH · By Constance B. Kent

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)

7/12/2015 · Mt. Kearsarge, Wilmot/Warner, NH
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 20 cm)

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 7 Sep 2020.

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Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)

7/12/2015 · Mt. Kearsarge, Wilmot/Warner, NH
≈ 5 × 4" (13 × 11 cm)

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)

7/10/2011 · By Constance B. Kent

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)

6/3/2018 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)

7/12/2015 · Mt. Kearsarge, Wilmot/Warner, NH
≈ 7 × 6" (19 × 15 cm)

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)

6/3/2018 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)

7/12/2015 · Mt. Kearsarge, Wilmot/Warner, NH
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm)

Range:

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