Slender cinquefoil, also known as graceful cinquefoil, is a sweet and long-lived perennial with cheerful pale to yellow, five-petaled flowers that are an important source of nectar for small pollinators who lack the girth to open more complicated flowers. Attractive, sharply-divided, evergreen foliage, with diagnostic silvery-white undersides, sprawls gracefully from its woody crown and hosts many native butterflies.
- Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous perennial herbaceous plant
- Size at maturity: 0-2' high, 1-2' wide
- Light requirements: full sun to partial shade
- Moisture requirements: moist soil
- Bloom time: May - Aug
- Growth rate/ease: moderate growth rate, easy to grow
- Wildlife support: nectar source for adult butterflies, bees, and other insect pollinators and syrphid flies; caterpillar host plant and larval food source for moths and butterflies including the two-banded checkered skipper
- Native habitat/range: common in meadows, prairies, open forests, roadsides, and shrub-steppe at low to alpine elevations. Many varieties are found across western North America. A technical key is usually required to tell them apart. Portland Plant List - yes.
- Special features & uses: landscape uses include pollinator gardens, meadowscapes, and woodland garden edges; deer resistant; evergreen
Gardening with Slender Cinquefoil: This adorable cinquefoil prefers full sun to partial shade with seasonally wet to moist soils that are well-drained and rich with organic matter. If planted in drier or more exposed locations, it will require supplemental water in the summer drought. Companion plants include ash and cascara trees, and other moisture-loving wildflowers like blue-eyed grass, lupine, and Oregon iris.
Seed Sowing Instructions: Direct sowing in fall is recommended, as this species requires a fair amount of seed dormancy. Sow seeds directly on prepared, weed-free soil or in containers and rake in very gently. Seeds usually need 2-3 months of chilling in moist, 35-40 degree weather before seeds will germinate when temps rise in late March.
Photo Credit 1: Steele Acres Native Willamette Valley Seed
Photo Credit 2: Nikkie West, Sparrowhawk Native Plants