Dasiphora fruticosa is a common shrub in the rose family (Rosaceae) that occurs throughout Denali (also called "tundra rose" by some). The only shrub in the flora with yellow flowers, shrubby cinquefoil is abundant and easy to recognize. The stems are much branched, with shredded red-brown bark. Plants grow up to 1.5 meters, and are usually as broad as they are wide, though they are typically dwarfed in alpine habitats. The small leaves are short-petioled or sessile and five-foliate (sometimes with 3 or 7 leaflets). Each leaflet is narrowly elliptic, about 1 cm long, margins entire. The leaves are gray-green above and silvery below, both sides sparsely silky-hairy. Flowers are produced on the sides of the branches. The flowers are 2-3 cm across, with five yellow, rounded petals and broadly triangular sepals. Each blossom has many short yellow stamens and pistils. The fruiting heads have many small ovateachenes, which are white-hairy and contain a single seed.
Shrubby cinquefoil is perennial and flowers in June to August, and fruits from July to September (Viereck and Little 2007).
A hardy shrub with showy flowers, D. fruticosa is grown as an ornamental. Several varieties—of various flower color, foliage, and size—have been developed. The stems or entire plant were used by the Alutiiq to brew a tea for colds, sore throats, respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses, including tuberculosis and pneumonia. The Dena'ina also made a tea of the stems and leaves (Garibaldi 1999).
Dasiphora fruticosa is a widespread circumboreal species. In North America, shrubby cinquefoil ranges from Alaska south through the western states, along the Great Lakes and into New England, north to Labrador and Newfoundland. The species is found in suitable habitat throughout Alaska, from the North Slope southwards, although not in the southern panhandle region or Aleutian Islands. In Denali, D. fruticosa occurs widely in the Park, more common north of the Alaska range than to the south.
This species occupies a broad range of elevations: 80 to 1431 m. However, it has the highest likelihood of being found at 900-1100 meters. It is more abundant on south-facing slopes, but is found on all aspects. Shrubby cinquefoil has the highest cover on very steep slopes (>28 degrees), but is also frequently found on low slopes. This species is abundant and diversely distributed throughout the park.