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Creeping Cinquefoil

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A common creeping flower on bare patches on grasslands and in hedgerows.



Creeping Cinquefoil: foiled again

Post date: Sunday, 18 December, 2016 - 20:44

One look at the creeping cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans) flower and leaves is sufficient to identify it as a member of the rose family. The flower has five petals that form an open rose-like circle and the leaves five triangular segments with toothed edges similar to the dog-rose and other rose family members. With five lobed leaves it is easy to see how it became called cinquefoil, cinque being French for five of course. This is a certainly a creeping plant that sprawls across the ground, the thin stems branching to a single flower head at frequent intervals, Creeping cinquefoil does seem a suitable name for it. 

Widespread and common where there is bare or sparsely vegetated ground and it can become invasive if in the wrong place and it can be difficult to eradicate. It should be easily identified provided you take a little care as the flowers alone could be muddled with silverweed and it has much in common with tormentil but that usually only has four petals. To confuse it with a buttercup is unforgivable! 

Like many of our herbs it has a tradition of curing many illnesses including diarrhoea, sore throats and toothache.


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Creeping Cinquefoil
Scientific Name Potentilla reptans
Family Rose family - Rosaceae
Status very common
Interest Level
Species Family Rose Family - Rosaceae
Flower Colour Group Yellow
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
Preferred Environment
Look for Creeping, vigorous plant with five petals
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

This species is often found in these habitats:

Habitat(s) Relationship
GN: Neutral Grassland Associated