Information on Creeping Cinquefoil

Common Name: Creeping Cinquefoil
Scientific Name: Potentilla reptans
Irish Name: Cúig mhéar Mhuire
Family Group: Rosaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Creeping Cinquefoil is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


Extremely low, trailing perennial found throughout the country on sand-dunes, grassland and waste or cultivated ground, Creeping Cinquefoil can be forgiven for its persistence in gardens by having such a pretty flower. Like other members of the Potentilla genus, it has yellow 5-petalled flowers (15-25mm across) which have heart-shaped petals. They are borne solitarily on long stems which emerge from nodes on the long runners. The leaves are almost all palmate with 5 toothed leaflets and their long stalks also arise from the nodes at which point the plant sends down roots (see picture).  Blooming from June to September, this is a native plant which belongs to the family Rosaceae. 

My first record of this wildflower is at Kilcoole, Co Wicklow in 1982 and I photographed it at Tacumshane Lake in 2007.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Cinquefoil, Creeping
Cinquefoil, Creeping

Also known as Cuig-mhéarach, this 'five-fingered' plant was one of the ingredients in Middle Age love potions.  It is still used in herbal preparations such as mouthwashes and I have seen the leaves in recipes for salad dishes.