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Photo Credit: Leslie Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, retrieved from (Image Number: 5446041), used under CC BY 3.0 US, modified from the original

Common Name: Sulphur Cinquefoil

Scientific Name: Potentilla recta

Habitat: roadsides, disturbed areas, grassland, grassland dry

Provincial Designation: Prohibited Noxious

Prohibited Noxious weeds are plant species that are designated as "prohibited noxious" in the Alberta weed regulation. Prohibited noxious weeds must be destroyed, meaning all growing parts need to be killed or the plant's reproductive mechanisms need to be rendered non-viable.


Native to Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, sulphur cinquefoil was introduced to North America before 1900.

Legislated Because

It is able to invade and dominate pastures and rangeland that are in good condition. Thus, infestations can reduce the biodiversity of desired forage species. It is unpalatable to most wildlife and livestock.


Sulphur cinquefoil's flowers are 20-25 mm wide and light yellow in colour, as the name suggests. Each flower has five petals with a distinctive notch that makes each petal heart-shaped.

Leaves are 5-15 cm long and 5-10 cm wide and have green undersides. Leaves are stalked and palmate with 5-7 leaflets. The leaflets have toothed edges.

The stems are erect with some branching in the upper portions and grow 30-60 cm tall. All parts of the plant, except the flowers, are usually covered in perpendicular hairs.

Learn more about this species:

See Fact Sheets - Alberta Invasive Species Council

For More Information

Weed Identification


In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311


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