Herb: Shrubby Cinquefoil

Latin name: Potentilla fruticosa

Synonyms: Dasiphora fruticosa, Pentaphylloides fruticosa

Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Medicinal use of Shrubby Cinquefoil:

The leaves are astringent. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of indigestion.

Description of the plant:


120 cm
(4 feet)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Damp rocky ground, usually on limestone.

Edible parts of Shrubby Cinquefoil:

A tea is made from the dried leaves. Used as a substitute for China tea, especially by people living at high elevations in the Himalayas.

Other uses of the herb:

Can be grown as a medium size informal hedge. Trim in spring. Some forms, notably "Longacre", "Elizabeth" and "Gold Drop" have a dense spreading habit and make good ground cover plants. A useful plant for controlling soil erosion. The dry, flaky bark is used as a tinder for friction fires. (fires started by rubbing 2 pieces of wood together very fast). The powdered plant is used as an incense. The leaves are used as a packing material in pillows.

Propagation of Shrubby Cinquefoil:

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 at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 3 - 5cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up in the autumn if possible and overwinter in a cold frame. Softwood cuttings taken in the early summer. Easy.

Cultivation of the herb:

Damp rocky ground, usually on limestone.

Known hazards of Potentilla fruticosa:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.