Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Potentilla crantzii (Crantz) G. Beck ex Fritsch

English: Spring cinquefoil,

French: Potentille de Crantz.

Rosaceae, Rose family.

Published in Excursionsfl. Oesterreich 295. 1897.

Type: The species has been typified from a Norwegian population of P. crantzii where the leaflets vary between 3 and 5.

Synonymy. Fragaria crantzii Crantz, Inst. Rei Herb. 2: 178. 1766.

Potentilla scandica Soják, Preslia 57: 264. 1985.

Vegetative morphology. Plants (3–)5–12(–20) cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose. Taproot present (comparatively slender). Ground level or underground stems vertical (short caudex with leaf crown and lateral peduncles); 3–6 mm wide. Horizontal stems at ground level, branching extensively to shape plant habit as mats (loosely). Caudex present (freely branching, sub-ligneous). Aerial stems branching from a tap at or near ground level into two or more branches; erect. Leaves mainly basal; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Stipules present; (6–)8–12(–15) mm long; (2–)3–5(–6) mm wide; not sheathing; green, or pink or reddish (brown, marcescent); hairy; pilose (sometimes slightly so); glandular (more so than in most other potentillas); apex acute. Petioles 15–70 mm long; with sessile glands (prominently glandular); hairy; pilose (scattered). Petiole hairs longer than the diameter of the petiole; spreading, or erect; straight; smooth. Leaf blades compound. Blades 8–15(–25) mm long, 7–18(–30) mm wide, veins palmate (leaflet veins pinnate). Blade adaxial surface with sessile glands (sometimes abundant), glabrescent, hairs pilose, hairs simple, hairs sparse, hairs white, or translucent. Blade abaxial surface dull, with sessile glands (often abundant), hairy, hairs pilose, hairs sparse, hairs white, hairs straight, hairs spreading. Blade margins dentate or crenate, with non-glandular hairs, with 3–10 teeth on each side of the blade, with teeth all around the blade; degree of incision 25–50%; apices rounded, or retuse. Leaflet arrangement digitate, or palmate (rarely in Canadian plants). Leaflets (3–)5; (5–)7–10(–12) mm long; (3–)4–8(–10) mm wide; elliptic, or obovate; veins conspicuous. Apical leaflet base not distinctly stipitate.

Reproductive morphology. Plants bisexual, or agamospermic. Flowering stems two or more per plant; conspicuously taller than the leaves; with leaves. Flowering stems hairy. Flowering stems villous. Flowering stem hairs simple; shorter than the diameter of the flowering stem; white or translucent. Inflorescences cymose; diffuse. Pedicels present. Flowers per inflorescence (1–)3–5(–8); medium-sized, or large. Sepals conventional. Epicalyx present. Epicalyx segments 2.5–3.5 mm long. Epicalyx segments 0.8–1.1 mm wide. Epicalyx segments shorter than the calyx segments. Epicalyx segments narrower than the calyx segments. Sepals 5; free; 1.8–2.2(–2.5) mm long; (3–)4–7 mm wide; green. Calyx with sessile glands (often abundant); hairy. Calyx hairs pilose (slightly); white or translucent. Calyx margins ciliate. Petals conventional; free; 5; yellow; with contrasting markings (an orange spot at the base of each petal); obovate; slightly lobed or undulating (distinctly notched); (4–)5–8(–10) mm long; (3–)4–6(–8) mm wide. Stamens 15–25; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow; ellipsoid; 0.5–0.8 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 35–50; apocarpous. Styles 1.2–1.8 mm long; straight; basal portion smooth. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit sessile; with calyx persisting; dry; an aggregate of achenes; ovoid; green at maturity, or straw-coloured; glabrous; surface appearing veinless; indehiscent.

Chromosome information. 2n = 14, or 28, or 35, or 41–49, or 64.

2n (2x) =14. Guinochet (1968);

2n (4x) 28. Skalinska and Czapik (1958, central Europe); Czapik (1961, central Europe, as P. crantzii); Czapik in Löve (1967a, central Europe, as P. crantzii); Guinochet (1967, central and southern Europe, as P. crantzii); Mesicek and Soják (1969, central Asia, as P. gelida); Gadella et al. (1970, central Europe, as P. crantzii); Gadella and Kliphuis (1970a and 1970b, southern Europe,as P. crantzii); Zhukova et al. (1973, northeastern Asia, as P. gelida); Krogulevich (1976a and b, southern and northern Siberia; 1978, southern and northern Siberia, as P. gelida); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1976, northeastern Asia, as P. gelida s.l.); Zhukova (1980, southern Chukotka, as P. gelida s.l.); Petrovsky and Zhukova (1981, Wrangel Island, as P. gelida); Asker (1985, as P. crantzii);

2n (5x) = 35. Druskovic and Lovka (1995, southcentral Europe, as P. crantzii);

2n (6x) = 41-42. Müntzing (1928, 1931, 1958, northern Europe); Håkansson (1946, northern Europe); Gustafsson (1947a); Löve and Löve (1956, Iceland); Jørgensen et al. (1958, Greenland); Sokolovskaya and Strelkova (1960, northern Russia); Sorsa (1963b, Finland); Asker (1966, 1970, 1971); Asker and Fröst (1970); Sokolovskaya (1970, northeastern Russia); Engelskjøn and Knaben (1971, southern and northern Norway). Numerous more southern counts;

2n = 42–49. Smith et al. (1971, western Europe, as P. crantzii);

2n (7x) = 49. Müntzing (1931b, 2n = 48, 49; 1958, Sweden, 2n = 48, as P. crantzii); Gadella and Kliphuis (1970a and 1970b, central Europe, as P. crantzii); Engelskjøn and Knaben (1971, southern and northern Norway, as P. crantzii); Smith et al. (1971, western Europe, as P. crantzii); Asker (1985, 1986, as P. crantzii);

2n = 64 (9x). Smith (1963, western Europe, as P. crantzii). Supposed basic chromosome number of family 7.

Ploidy levels recorded 2x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 7x, 9x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: slopes, cliffs, dry meadows; dry, moderately well-drained areas; rocks (rarely), gravel, sand; with low organic content, with high organic content; acidic, or calcareous, or nitrophilous. Usually a plant of dry, favourable habitats like meadow slopes and the base of south-facing cliffs, mostly on circum-neutral substrates.

North American distribution. An eastern North American-Atlantic plant with its main distribution in Europe (and Greenland) and only with marginal and coastal occurrences in eastern Canada. It reaches the High Arctic both in Greenland and Svalbard but only the Low Arctic in Canada. In the Arctic islands, it is restricted to southeastern Baffin and (perhaps) Nottingham Island (one dot from here in Porsild 1957). Nunavut Islands, northern Quebec, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago limited. Rare. Low Arctic and boreal. Arctic islands: Baffin (one record).

Northern hemisphere distribution. Amphi-Atlantic. Northern Iceland, Northern Fennoscandian, Kanin–Pechora, Svalbard – Franz Joseph Land, Polar Ural – Novaya Zemlya, Yamal–Gydan, Labrador – Hudson Bay, West Greenland, East Greenland.

General notes. The species is very variable in northern Europe, which is the centre of distribution, and both sexual and apomictic reproduction has been reported (Asker and Jerling 1992, Nyléhn 2002). Attempts to subdivide the variation into taxa have not been generally accepted. In the Arctic, there seems to be comparatively little variation from eastern Canada through Greenland to Jan Mayen and Svalbard. The number of leaflets varies from three to five, and variation in number may occur within populations and within plants. Soják (1985, in determinations) restricted P. crantzii to the regularly digitate-leaved plants, whereas the ternate-leaved ones were considered as P. gelida C.A. Meyer subsp. boreo-asiatica Jurtz. and R. Kamel. and plants with mixed leaves were considered as the hybrid species P. ×scandica Soják. This treatment is not in accordance with genetic patterns (Hansen et al. 2000, Hamre 2000, Nyléhn 2002) and also obscures the possible significance of the differences between the Atlantic P. crantzii and the mainly Asian P. gelida. The Canadian plants are predominantly digitate (five leaflets).

Kartesz (1994) suggested that P. crantzii may be synonymous with Potentilla tabernaemontani Aschers. (P. neumanniana Reichenb.), a species recognised as distinctly different from P. crantzii in all recent European sources. Elven (personal communication, 2005) stated this has been investigated, and P. tabernaemontani is an apomictic, hybridogenous complex where P. crantzii partakes, but is not an important part. The Canadian plants are P. crantzii and nothing else.

Elven (personal communication, 2005) noted that "Kamelin, in Tzvelev (2001), claimed that the priority name for P. crantzii should be P. verna. The name P. verna has been applied for several different plants and has scarcely been applied at all the last 100 years. Kamelin did not designate a lectotype, and the original material of Linnaeus' P. verna is heterogeneous. It consists, according to Cafferty and Jarvis (2002) of P. crantzii (LINN 655.23), P. aurea (Haller 1740, t. 6, f. 4), P. grandiflora (UPS Burser XVIII(2): 1), and an uncertain plant (LINN 655.24). To preserve current usage without formally rejecting P. verna, Cafferty and Jarvis (2002, in Taxon) selected the Burser specimen as lectotype, making P. verna into a synonym of P. grandiflora L., which resolved this question."

Illustrations. • Close-up of plant. Drawing by Mrs. S. Bergh and Mrs. L. Barstad based on a collection from Svalbard, Oscar II Land, Quade Hooker. 29 August, 1907. H. Resvoll-Dieset (as P. maculata). 0 200381. With permission of the Botanical Museum University of Oslo, Norway. • Arctic Island Distribution.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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