Much like no. 1 [Potentilla simplex Michx.], but lower and mostly even more slender, the rhizome very short, praemorse, the stems at first anthesis only 5-15 cm, erect or ascending, soon greatly elongating and prostrate, often rooting at the nodes; lowest fl usually in the axil of the first well developed cauline lf, sometimes even from the axil of a scarcely developed lower cauline lf. Dry woods and fields; P.E.I., N.S., and N.B., s. in the coastal states to Ga., inland to s. Ont., s. O., and e. Tenn. Apr.- June. (P. pumila) Not sharply set off from no. 1, with which it sometimes grows, but forming a distinctive taxon of more limited distribution. Most of what has passed as P. canadensis is properly P. simplex.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.