It's been a while since I've shared a plant featured in UBC Botanical Garden's 2005 book “The Jade Garden - New and Notable Plants from Asia” (the series of 5 BPotD coinciding with the release of the book starts here). Since I discovered this plant is also going to be available at the UBC BG Perennial Plant Sale, I thought it worthwhile to coincide a mention of both the book and the event.
Cuneate cinquefoil, as written by Brent Hine in “The Jade Garden”:
“Among the indomitable dwellers of the higher reaches, the genus Potentilla truly stands out. It is a vast group, and Potentilla cuneata is a fine example. Technically a subshrub, this groundcover behaves in cultivation like a herbaceous perennial. The specific epithet refers to its leaf bases, which taper down (wedge-like) to the petioles. In its native habitat, it grows on exposed hills and meadows, slowly creeping during the short growing season. What makes this perennial so eminently suitable in cultivation is its ability to adapt and thrive under markedly different conditions. A prime example derives from a seed collection taken in Nepal at 3870m. Coming from what can be an unforgiving climate for most of the year, our plant has been thriving in cultivation at UBCBG for 30 years. Locally, it experiences a mostly snowless climate at close to sea level. So this little fellow has proven itself a marvel of adaptability. Its value is further evident in its multiseason good looks, including an extensive bloom of golden yellow flowers.”
“The short rhizomes of Potentilla cuneata slowly form a close-knit carpet in gritty soil, and after many years the plant has reached a diameter of about 2m. Meanwhile, from midsummer the extended flower show begins. The bright blossoms are short-stemmed and produced in such profusion as to turn the plant into a reflection of the sun. Although the main flowering season of these 2.5cm single “roses” is about 6 weeks, intermittent bloom lasts until the cooler nights of the fall. The perennial has charming trifoliage, silky, incised leaves that exhibit a warm-toned colourful display before they drop.”
The account in the book continues on to include hardiness, cultivation and propagation information.
“The Jade Garden - New and Notable Plants from Asia” is available locally in the Shop in the Garden and other fine bookstores. You can also purchase the book online from Amazon.com, Amazon.ca or Amazon.co.uk .
Photography resource link: In this thread on the forums, Liz from Victoria, Australia pointed out the work of the late Peter Dombrovskis, an environmentally-influential German-born Australian photographer. I vaguely recall hearing of Dombrovskis from a documentary some years ago. The National Library of Australia has made of some of his images available online; from the Pictures Catalogue, type Dombrovskis into the search field. This photo is among my favourites.