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Potentilla oblanceolata (Not NMRPTC Rare)
(Narrow-leaf cinquefoil)

[taxon report][distribution map][all photos][line drawing]

Family: Rosaceae

Scientific Name: Potentilla oblanceolata Rydberg

Synonyms: None

Vernacular Name: Narrow-leaf cinquefoil

R-E-D Code: 2-1-2

Description: Perennial; stems decumbent or spreading, silky-villous, 10-20 cm long; basal leaves palmately 5-foliate, leaflets oblanceolate, 3-5 cm long, finely serrate, silky and green above, densely white tomentose beneath; upper leaves trifoliate or simple; stipules brown and decurrent, the free portion long, linear-lanceolate; hypanthium silky and white tomentose; bractlets narrowly lanceolate, nearly equaling the similar (lanceolate) sepals; petals yellow, obcordate, exceeding the sepals; stamens about 20; ovaries numerous; styles terminal. Flowers April to August (based on specimens at NMC tentatively identified by B. Ertter).

Similar Species: Potentilla concinna is distinguished by its ovate sepals and bractlets and its broader, obovate leaflets with rounded teeth. Potentilla oblanceolata has lanceolate sepals and bractlets, and oblanceolate leaflets with forward-pointing teeth.

Distribution: Cited by Rydberg (1908) from southwestern New Mexico without specific locality; Mexico, Chihuahua.

Habitat: Montane coniferous forest; 1,830-2,130 m (6,000-7,000 ft).

Remarks: This is a species from Mexico. There are no specimens documenting its occurrence in New Mexico. Our inclusion on the list was based on a citation in Rydberg (1908) of southwestern New Mexico without specific locality. Rydberg may have misinterpreted previous information or made an incorrect extrapolation of range. The range of this species in Mexico exceeds 100 miles. It is best to exclude this species from our New Mexico rare plant list for now. If plants are found in New Mexico, it can be re-evaluated for rare status.

The type collection is in the U.S. National Herbarium: Dr. E. Palmer, southwest Chihuahua, Mexico, 1885. This is a rarely collected plant and practically nothing is known of its population and taxonomic status. One possibility is that collections have not been made because it may be confused with P. concinna. A much needed revision of the Mexican Potentilla species is presently being undertaken by Dr. Barbara Ertter.

Conservation Considerations: Field surveys are needed to determine distribution, abundance and habitat requirements. Additional collections are needed for taxonomic evaluation.

Important Literature (*Illustration):

Rydberg, P.A. 1898. A monograph of the North American Potentilleae. Memoirs from the Columbia University Department of Botany 2:52-53.

Rydberg, P.A. 1908. Potentilla. North American Flora 22(4):293-355.

Information Compiled By: Juanita A.R. Ladyman, 1999; last updated 2005

Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
©2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council