The Marsh Cinquefoil is not so common as many plants. It likes best to grow where there are high hills, and you find it all summer in wet ground among the peat-bogs.
It has black roots, which creep a long distance among the mud, and from these roots grow beautifully shaped green leaves, and rather strange-looking flowers.
These flowers have five small petals, which are a deep purple colour. So are the stamens, so are the seed-vessels. Even the sepals, which are bigger and longer than the petals, are a rich, dark purple, except at the foot where they join the stalk, and there they are greenish.
The Marsh Cinquefoil has two rings of sepals. Those in the outermost circle are shaped like a narrow tongue. The inner sepals are much broader, and they end in sharp points.
The flowers have each a stalk which branches from the main stem. Sometimes two flower-stalks will spring from the same part of the stem, and in that case there will be a large green leaf clasping the stem where they rise.
These leaves are usually divided into three fingers, each of which is long and rather narrow, with sharp teeth all round. There are a few hairs on the upper side of the leaf, but underneath it is quite smooth.
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