Flower of marshes, bogs and wet meadows, Marsh Cinquefoil is a perennial which reaches about 35cm high. Blooming from May to July, it has erect star-shaped maroon flowers (20-25mm across) borne in a loose terminal cluster. These are comprised of the calyx of 5 large, maroon sepals within which are 5 small petals, about half the length of the sepals. The backs of the sepals are covered in down. The pretty leaves are pinnately divided into 3 or 5 leaflets which are coarsely toothed. The plant often has a reddish tinge all over and is a good source of nectar for visiting bees and flies. This wildflower has creeping rhizomes which grow horizontally under the surface of the ground. It is a native plant and belongs to the family Rosaceae.
My first record of this plant was in Newcastle, Co Wicklow in 1978 and I photographed it at Fenor Bog Nature Reserve, Co Waterford in 2009.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre