Potentilla thurberi is found along higher elevation roadsides, moist creekbeds, and meadows. The deep red flowers have a "velvety" appearance. The relatively large and heavily veined serrate leaves are palmately divided. The pale anthers stand out against the darker central portion of the petals.
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial from short woody taproot, stems erect 30-60 cm tall pubescent to sparsely villous. Leaves: Alternate, with basal leaves long petiolate, palmately 5-7 foliolate, the leaflets 3-5 cm long, leaflets obovate to oblong, glabrate to sparsely silky hairy beneath, margins serrate, with 1-2 cm long broadly ovate stipules, cauline lives sessile above. Flowers: Open branched cyme, with few to several flowers, 1.5 cm wide, 5 acuminate sepals, 5 red sepals, these orbicular, emarginate and exceeding the sepals, with 20-30 stamens, and terminal style longer than achene. Fruits: Achene about 1 mm long. Ecology: Found in moist soils along streams or in damp meadows from 5,000-9,000 ft (1524-2743 m); flowers July-September. Notes: Can be more leggy than other Potentilla, but you-ll really key in on the rose-red color of the petals which are genuinely one of the more beautiful summer flowers. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Potentilla comes from Latin diminutive of potens, meaning powerful, while thurberi is named for Dr. George Thurber (1821-1890) a botanist on the Mexican Boundary Survey of 1850-1854. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010