Potentilla reptans - L.
Common Name Cinquefoil, Creeping cinquefoil
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry sunny locations in meadows, pastures and waste ground[4, 9], usually on basic or neutral soils[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to the Mediterranean, Siberia, Himalayas.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

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Potentilla reptans Cinquefoil, Creeping cinquefoil

Potentilla reptans Cinquefoil, Creeping cinquefoil
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Potentilla reptans is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.


Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Young leaves - raw[7]. A useful addition to salads[7].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antidiarrhoeal;  Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Febrifuge;  Odontalgic.

Both the roots and the herb are antispasmodic, astringent and febrifuge[4, 7, 9, 54, 240]. An infusion of the dried herb is used in the treatment of diarrhoea etc, it is also used as a gargle for sore throats and is used externally as an astringent lotion[4]. A concentrated decoction of the root relieves toothache[7].


Other Uses

The plant is an ingredient in many anti-wrinkle cosmetic preparations for the skin[7].
Cultivation details
Easily grown in a well-drained loam, preferring a dry position in full sun but tolerating shade[1]. Prefers an alkaline soil but tolerates a slightly acid soil[200]. The plant spreads vigorously by means of runners and can be invasive with new runners up to 1.5 metres long being produced each year[1, 4]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. The flowers are partially closed in dull weather and close completely of a night time[4]. When closing, self-fertilisation is affected because the anthers are caused to touch the stigmas[4].
Seed - sow early spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

See readers comments below.
Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Potentilla anserinaSilverweed33
Potentilla bicolor 10
Potentilla chinensisChinese Cinquefoil11
Potentilla cryptotaeniae 01
Potentilla discolor 21
Potentilla egedeiPacific Silverweed21
Potentilla erectaTormentil, Erect cinquefoil13
Potentilla fragarioides 11
Potentilla fruticosaShrubby Cinquefoil, Potentilla11
Potentilla glandulosaGland Cinquefoil, Sticky cinquefoil, Arizona cinquefoil, Ashland cinquefoil, Ewan's cinquefoil, Hans11
Potentilla hippianaWoolly Cinquefoil01
Potentilla kleiniana 11
Potentilla multifida 20
Potentilla nepalensisNepal Cinquefoil, Cinquefoil21
Potentilla norvegicaNorwegian Cinquefoil01
Potentilla palustrisMarsh Cinquefoil11
Potentilla rectaRough-Fruited Cinquefoil, Erect cinquefoil21
Potentilla rupestrisRock Cinquefoil10
Potentilla simplexOld Field Cinquefoil, Common cinquefoil01
Potentilla supina 11


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Botanical References
Links / References
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Readers comment
MISS.MCCRAE   Sun Mar 23 20:22:52 2003
This plant Potentilla reptans(Cinquefoil) has many uses, and comes from a good family, though can be invasive in the garden. It might be well worthwhile planting it in a pot and then putting it in the location preferred for its habitat in the garden if your worried about invasion. I've come across many recipes including this plant in it's ingredients.
   Apr 27 2017 12:00AM
Disagree with the rating for weed potential. This plant is in my 1/4 acre yard and is slowly taking over every square inch of it. It sets down tap roots that are over 8 inches deep and is very adaptable. It shoots runners over a foot away entangling other ground covers. Leaf size can vary depending on the amount of sunlight it gets in any particular location. I live in western New York state. I was not familiar with this plant until I moved to my current residence fifteen years ago. I would urge you to reconsider your weed potential rating for it.
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Subject : Potentilla reptans  

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