/singk"foyl'/, n.1. any of several plants belonging to the genus Potentilla, of the rose family, having yellow, red, or white five-petaled flowers, as P. reptans (creeping cinquefoil), of the Old World, or P. argentea (silvery cinquefoil), of North America.2. Also called quinquefoil, quintefoil. Archit. a panellike ornament consisting of five lobes, divided by cusps, radiating from a common center.3. Heraldry. a charge in the form of a five-leaved clover.[1375-1425; late ME sink foil < MF cincfoille < L quinque folia five leaves, trans. of Gk pentáphyllon]
* * *Any of the approximately 500 species of shrubs and herbaceous plants in the genus Potentilla (rose family).The common name, meaning "five-leaved," refers to the number of leaflets in the compound leaf of most species. Most species are native to the northern temperate zone and the Arctic and are chiefly perennial. The stems are creeping or erect. The solitary, five-petaled flowers are usually yellow, sometimes white or red in horticultural varieties. P. fruticosa includes many dwarf shrubs used in landscaping (see landscape gardening).Common cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)Arthur W. Ambler from The National Audubon Society Collection/Photo ResearchersEB Inc.
* * *▪ plant(genus Potentilla), any of many flowering plants of the rose family (Rosaceae), comprising about 500 species of herbs and shrubs. The common name, which means “five-leaved,” refers to the number of leaflets in the compound leaf; some species, however, have three or seven leaflets. Most of the species are native to the North Temperate Zone and the Arctic and are chiefly perennial. The stems are creeping or erect. The leaves are digitate (the leaflets arising from a common centre) or pinnate (feather-formed). The solitary, five-petaled flowers are usually yellow, sometimes white or red in horticultural varieties. P. fruticosa has provided many dwarf shrubs used in landscaping.
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