Low plant, spreading by runners. Flowers deep yellow, with 5 rounded petals and 10 large green sepals. Leaves with five leaflets arranged like a hand (palmate). Leaflets glossy, strongly veined, with large teeth only above the middle. Blooms in late spring.
Native plant of dry soils. Occasional in Wildwood.
The strongly toothed palmate leaves and 5-petaled yellow flowers mark this as a cinquefoil. Common cinquefoil (P. simplex) is very similar, but leaves are not so glossy, and the leaflets are toothed for at least 3/4 their length. The alien sulfur cinquefoil (P. recta) is an erect plant with paler yellow flowers. Rough or Norwegian cinquefoil (P. norvegica) is also erect and has only 3 leaflets.