There are a wide variety of cinquefoils in Switzerland and many species look alike at first glance. The “roses” on German playing cards used to play the game Jass are stylised versions of the cinquefoil. Unlike the Golden Cinquefoil, which likes acidic soils, Alpine Cinquefoil tends to be found growing in calcareous soil. This pretty species thrives in several places in the Alpine Garden and welcomes visitors at the upper entrance gate.
This species of cinquefoil grows 5–15 cm tall and is covered with shaggy hairs. It usually has five pinnate basal leaves. Its flowers are a cheerful bright yellow and it can often be seen shortly after the snow has melted.
Facts and Figures
Several species of cinquefoil are pollinated by insects. Sap marks on the petals play a key role in attracting pollinators. These do not reflect UV light and guide the pollinators to their pollen prize. The differences in colour are usually invisible to the human eye.
This species of cinquefoil can be found in Switzerland in the Alps, in areas near the Alps as well as in the Jura from sub-Alpine levels up to Alpine altitudes where it mainly grows on calcareous and nutrient-deficient grassland and pastureland. This species is very common on the Gornergrat.