Freitag, 29. Juni 2012

Plant of the Day (June 29th, 2012) - Potentilla reptans L.

Today's “Plant of the Day” is Potentilla reptans L. from the Rosaceae family (Sub-family: Rosoideae). In Germany, we call this plant “Kriechendes Fingerkraut” while in English, it's known as “creeping cinquefoil” or “creeping tormentil”.

P. reptans - habitus

As the name suggests, it's a perennial plant with a creeping stalk (“reptans” is Latin for “creeping), which can reach a total length of 1 metre (39.3 inches). But because of the creeping growth, the maximum height of this plant is only between 10 and 20 centimetres (4 and 8 inches). The leaves have a very long petiole and are digitate with 5 to 7 “fingers” (leaflets). Each leaflet has a rough sawn margin.

P. reptans - leaves

The inflorescence consists of single, terminal flowers with long stalks. Each flower is radially and has five sepals and petals. The petals are golden-yellow and inverted heart-shaped. So, their apex is broader than the base and also a little bit indented. Flowering time is between June and August.

P. reptans - flowers

P. reptans is native to whole Eurasia and prefers, fresh, nutrient-rich soils. So, it can be found on fresh places like riverbanks, fresh meadows but also ruderal wastelands and embankments. It is also planted on walls for greening.

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