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Potentilla tridentata

Three-toothed Cinquefoil /

A compact groundcover for dry, soil with loose clusters of dainty white flowers and glossy evergreen leaves. The leaves have two notches in the tips that form three rounded teeth. Leaves turn wine red in autumn. Great for rock gardens.


  • Glossy evergreen groundcover for dry sites
  • Clusters of small white flowers bloom for a long time
  • Cary Award winner for 2004
  • Great for edging borders
  • Foliage turns dark mahogany-red in the fall and winter

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grow on a sunny site with rocky soil. Looks especially good creeping out of rocky crevices. Great for edging. Prefers acid soil.

3-6 Inches


12-15 Inches

USDA Hardiness Zone 2-7

Native Range

Sandy or rocky shores and mountaintops; Greenland to the Northwest Territories, south to Iowa and Connecticut and in the Appalachians to Georgia.

Native Trivia

Food, water, space and cover are the four essential elements of wildlife habitat. Cover is any place an animal can use for living space or to take refuge from predators and harsh natural elements such as heat. Components of cover include all forms of vegetation and physical entities such as brush piles, fallen logs, snags and tree cavities.

"This is a critical food source for my cousins, the Copper butterflies, and we all nectar here."

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
  • Low Perennials
  • Small Shrubs
  • Filtered Shade
  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Sun
  • Acidic
  • Well-drained
Soil Moisture Preference
  • Average
  • Dry
  • Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
  • Beneficial insects
  • Butterflies
Bloom Time
  • Late Summer
  • Summer
Habitat Collection
  • Butterfly
Native Habitat
  • Grassland
Foliage Color
  • Green
  • Border
  • Drought tolerant
  • Edging
  • Erosion control
  • Evergreen
  • Ground cover
  • Mass plant
  • Naturalizes
  • Rock garden
Native to
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin