Potent potentilla

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Shrubby potentilla has been putting on a show with its re-bloom. 

They were colorful in June...

...and given some cool weather in August, they do a Labor Day encore. Shrubby cinquefoil (once Potentilla fruticosa, it's recently had a name change to Dasiphora fruticosa) is native throughout much of North America including New England, the Great Lakes, the Upper Midwest, all of Canada and the American West right up into Alaska. It's a lover of cool summers -- thus it's absent in the Southeast and occurs in Arizona only in the cool mountainous areas. So it qualifies as one of those plants northern gardeners can grow to get even with southeastern gardening friends who crow about camellias.

We once laughed and called this tough little shrub the "bellybutton plant" since it seemed everyone had one.

For years we sneered at this plant as "common." Lately we've taken new notice, such as at 45mph this week. We used to say, "You need to sheer them after they finish flowering in June so they'll re-bloom a bit." Yet here they are in a bed untended but for water and weeding, producing a re-bloom at summer's end to rival the June show, without even the threat of a clip.

Give them full sun and well drained soil, cut them back every few years, or cut some branches out every year to keep the wood young and lively, and enjoy 'em!

They aren't only yellow and white anymore! (Below, 'Gold Drop' on the left and  'Abbotswood' on the right.)

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This year at Abele's Greenhouse in Saginaw we took note of 'Pink Beauty' and 'Mango Tango.'

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