Potentilla paradoxa
Sand cinquefoil

Key Characteristics

Annual or short-lived perennial of sandy Lake Erie storm beaches; stems branched and reclining, with pinnately compound leaves, not white-hairy below; inflorescence much-branched, bearing terminal yellow flowers with small petals (5-7 mm long).

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
  • State Rank: SU - Unrankable
  • Global Rank: G5 - Secure


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Potentilla paradoxa

Updated 2/25/2015. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Known only from a 1949 collection along a barrier beach in Monroe County, where it was found in loose sand. Elsewhere this species is known from prairies, shores, bottoms, and damp places.

Natural Community Types

Associated Plants

No data are available concerning associates in Michigan.


The primary need for this species is a status survey. If found, it would likely require maintenance of long-term shoreline processes like beach building and erosion. Protection from foot traffic and development would also be necessary.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Sep 1, 2015]


Survey References

Technical References