Bush Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)

Finally a day off with not much rain… yet.

I just planted a one gallon Bush Cinquefoil on the outer rim of my home site. It is at the beginning of the hill and I will see it every day as I pull in to my house.

I met this plant in Maple Valley, Washington where I fell for one with lovely peach blooms. I planted one in my son’s garden and as fast as everything grows there it is probably 3 or 4 feet tall and wide.

It is native to the western USA but not warmer than zone 7 and not New Mexico.  Colorado for sure and I have similar conditions in my zone 5 Food Forest.  The market economy has spread this plant all over the world!  It prefers alkaline soil and rocky terrain.  It will do fine on my 16 inches of rain.

I admit I tried sprouting seeds first.  They did sprout and are very tiny.  Not one survived and maybe I over watered them… but so tiny!  I was pulled into the market economy on this one and bought two Gold Star potentillas.

Possible that potentilla will naturalize here since this is so close to its native range; if so, it is widely planted in this area already.

The good part is that it’s seeds are eaten by songbirds, quail, and grouse in fall and winter.  It makes good cover for small animals.  I really need more cover for the little guys and I sure want quail and grouse if any are close enough to move in to my circular economy.

The blooms attract bees and butterflies.  It is supposed to be deer resistant but if deer are hungry enough all bets are off.

In many countries the dried leaves are used as a tea substitute and our Potentilla fruticosa is grown by the Himalayans for their tea!  How funny that we don’t use it ourselves.  If it will grow well on the edge of my Food Forest and become part of my circular economy, I will call it a good addition.  If I like it as a green tea substitute even better.

Camellia sinensis has always been my favorite tea and I do go out to the market economy on this one.  Then again I favor China Black over Green.  Chinese are masters at tea, and they only sell us the dregs!  If ever I go to China I want the best cuppa tea.

Next year I will have enough to dry and see if it tastes like green tea.

Tomorrow officially starts hot tea season at my house, never mind I have been drinking hot teas for a month. This is not Texas, folks.  I need to get a few more things into the ground before it  snows.

About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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