This is a defining meadow plant that is surprisingly overlooked, or ignored in most habitat restoration projects.
A wonderfully hardy member of the rose family with woody underground roots, slender or prairie cinquefoil establishes readily and can persist for years. It's ignored by deer, and stands up to occasional drought, flooding, and a bit of partial shade while still flowering cheerfully like clockwork every spring and summer.
We love the butterflies and moths that lay eggs on this plant, including the delightfully colorful little purplish copper (Lycaena helloides), the two-banded checkered skipper (Pyrgis ruralis), and the strawberry crown moth (Synanthedon bibionipennis) -- the intriguing and mysterious latter species so closely resembles a wasp that you would never believe it is actually a moth at first glance.
Slender prairie cinquefoil incorporates very well with grasses and tolerates occasional disturbance. Every meadow, rain garden, bioswale, drainage basin, parking strip, and roadside median should have this graceful little plant.
The very small seed, and its long lifespan makes prairie cinquefoil a fantastic conservation investment.