Three Toothed Potentilla

Potentilla tridentata

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Three Toothed Potentilla (Potentilla tridentata) at Weston Nurseries

Three Toothed Potentilla flowers

Three Toothed Potentilla flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 inches

Spacing:  12 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  2a

Other Names:  Three-Toothed Cinquefoil


This very cold hardy herbaceous variety features dark green glossy foliage that turns burgundy-bronze in the colder months; sprays of white flowers from late spring to early summer; trim faded blooms to encourage new buds; great for a sunny border

Ornamental Features

Three Toothed Potentilla features showy white cup-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems from late spring to early summer. Its attractive small glossy lobed compound leaves are dark green in color. The foliage often turns burgundy in fall.

Landscape Attributes

Three Toothed Potentilla is a dense herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Three Toothed Potentilla is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Three Toothed Potentilla will grow to be only 5 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 14 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 12 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an evegreen perennial, this plant will typically keep its form and foliage year-round.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

Three Toothed Potentilla is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features