A genus comprising both shrubby and herbaceous
perennials of eminent value as garden plants.
The foliage is elegant and strongly resembles
that of the strawberry, although in many species
it is more finely divided.
The hybrids have a long season of flowering and
comprise many brilliant colours inherited from
the species that were their parents.
Potentilla argyrophylla has erect stems, two
to three feet high, with yellow flowers an inch
across, borne on long pedicels.
It is a native of the Himalayas, and has been
hybridised with, it is believed:
Potentilla atrosanguinea, purple,
Potentilla nepalensis, rosy-purple,
Potentilla villosa, golden yellow.
The garden hybrids include varieties with double
as well as single flowers in form like those of
the strawberry, but with a colour variation that
ranges from white and yellow to shades of buff,
salmon, clear rose and scarlet.
Easily grown in well-drained sandy soil in full
Propagate by division or from seed.
The flowering season extends throughout the summer.
One foot to three feet.
Flowers of several colours, chiefly shades of
red and yellow, June and July.
The Potentilla belongs to the Strawberry tribe,
which it closely resembles in leaf and flower.
There are various herbaceous species, excellent
for the border, amongst which the best are Pyrenaica,
yellow; Hopwoodiana, single, buff or apricot with
rose centre, flowering from June to August; and
Tonguei, orange and terra-cotta, growing about
eighteen inches high, and flowering in July and
August. But the most generally effective for the
garden are the hybrid varieties. These grow about
two feet high, have a base of glossy green leaves
with grey under sides, and stiff branching stems
bearing abundance of single or double flowers,
either selfs in scarlet, crimson, maroon, yellow
and orange, or striped and splashed with two of
these colours. The single flowers have a golden
centre, like a strawberry blossom; the doubles
have at times a tendency to become thin and show
the yellow middle.
The following are good double sorts:
Californie: large clear yellow.
Le Vésuve: red, yellow edge.
Toussaint Louverture: Maroon.
Purpurea lutea: crimson and yellow.
Versicolor: marbled red and yellow.
If plants are bought, they should be put out
about the end of February; the soil should be
deep and good; ordinary garden mould should be
well dug, and have some well-rotted manure and
leaf soil worked in. seed may be sown about June;
the best return will be given by the use of boxes
of potting-soil with a little sand, with the help
of necessary shade and water.
plants may be increased by taking off pieces of
root any time between October and March.
four or five years in one place, they should be
lifted, broken up, and the best pieces replanted
on a fresh site.