What is a Potentilla?

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What is a Potentilla?

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Potentilla is a genus of rose from the family Rosaceae. They are commonly called cinquefoils and are made up of around 500 different species of perennial, annual, and biennial herbs. The name of the plant orginates from the Medieval Latin word tormentilla, meaning “little torment.” This comes from the species potentilla erecta, which is thought to cure mild stomach pain. They are also commonly called “barren strawberries” due to their similar appearance, and lack of edible fruit. Potentilla are most commonly found in the northern hemisphere, but a few species can be found in New Guinea. They often appear in regions overrun with common heather. Larvae of both butterflies and moths eat the leaves as a primary food source. The mature butterflies often come back to feed on the nectar. The larvae of polish carmine scales are parasites that absorb nutrients from the roots of the plant. Many species of potentilla have leaves divided into five sections, like fingers on a hand. This is where th

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