Herb: Marsh Cinquefoil

Latin name: Potentilla palustris

Synonyms: Comarum palustre

Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Medicinal use of Marsh Cinquefoil:

The root is astringent. A decoction has been used in the treatment of dysentery and stomach cramps.

Description of the plant:


45 cm
(1 foot)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Marshes, bogs, acid fens and wet heaths.

Edible parts of Marsh Cinquefoil:

The dried leaves are a tea substitute.

Other uses of the herb:

A red dye is obtained from the flowers. Tannin is obtained from the root.

Propagation of Marsh 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 their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Marshes, bogs, acid fens and wet heaths.

Known hazards of Potentilla palustris:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.