It is always unmistakably June and summertime when, along sandy roads and on slopes and always in blazing hot sunshine, the pale yellow flowers of rough-fruited cinquefoil bloom.
Potentilla recta L.
June. Uplands. roadsides.
They are an inch broad, with five heart-shaped petals of a creamy light yellow. They are much like the single yellow rose, and in fact belong to the rose family. But the cinquefoil is called a weed. It came over to this country as an uninvited immigrant from the fields of Europe.
No one knows just how it happened to come here. It may have come in a hit of mud caught in the heel of an immigrant from France. It may have come in a hale of hay. for the cinquefoil grows in grain fields and often is threshed with the wheat, oats, or rye whose fields it. inhabits. At any rate, the rough-fruited cinquefoil some years ago came across the Atlantic and scattered itself in that determined way plants have in perpetuating themselves, and multiplied. Now. authorities say, it is found from Maine to Ontario, Illinois, and District of Columbia.
The flowers are fragile. The heart-shaped petal- last less than a day and as the sun goes down in the June north, the petals drift to the ground and more buds prepare to open the next morning at dawn. The plants are stiff, rather bushy with compound, deeply toothed,. roughish green leaves.