Potentilla aurea


I found Potentilla aurea one store. I like it since I want a yellow follower/ground cover with yellow flower for spring time (the label says it blooms is summer which is ok too). My concern for this, is it going to be out of control and bushy (big). I do not want to spread like crazy. That is only my concern. I prefer something with height 20-30 cm and width 20-30cm as well. Thank you so much.


Hello – The common name for Potentilla aurea is dwarf yellow cinquefoil and it is indeed a low growing, mat forming groundcover with a mature height of 18 centimetres and yellow flowers blooming in late summer.  However, there are many forms of potentilla available.  The most common one is a shrubby type, Potentilla fruticosa that grows to .9 m.  There is also a creeping form, Potentilla reptans, which is very low-growing but doesn’t work well in gardens as it tends to take over – but it can be useful as a lawn alternative. The plant label should provide information on the mature height and spread of the plant you made note of.

I’m questioning whether the Potentilla aurea you found has been labelled correctly as it does not seem to be widely used here.  Most of the references I found for the plant were in the UK and Europe. However, the information on the plant label should help you verify the type.

If you’d like other recommendations for yellow-flowering groundcovers, I suggest you consider sedums, a large genus of fleshy-leaved succulents. I like Sedum repestre ‘Angelina’ with a height of 8-16 cm and a bloom period of June through August. If you’d like to read more about this sedum, I’ve included a link to a description on the Missouri Botanical Garden site.  Now that our gardening centres are opening up, you should find a good selection of sedums available.


Evergreen groundcover plants: 20 choices for year-round interest