Open the Advanced Search

Spring Cinquefoil

Potentilla neumanniana

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Grassland, mountains, rocky places, sand dunes, sea cliffs.

Yellow, 5 petals
Small clusters of buttercup-like flowers, each measuring up to 18mm across. The 5 sepals are clearly visible in the spaces between the petals. Spring Cinquefoil is an almost identical plant to Creeping Cinquefoil but Spring Cinquefoil flowers earlier in the year.
A short-tipped achene.
Mat-forming with hairy palmate leaves, between 5 and 7 leaflets.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Spring cinquefoil (Potentilla neumanniana) is a species of flowering plant in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is native to Europe and Asia, and has been introduced to other parts of the world as an ornamental plant. It is a perennial herb with small, yellow flowers that bloom in the spring. The leaves are divided into five leaflets and are hairy and dark green in color. Spring cinquefoil grows to a height of about 15 cm (6 inches) and has a creeping habit, with stems that root at the nodes and form colonies. It is tolerant of a range of soil conditions and can be grown in sunny to partially shaded areas. It is also resistant to deer and rabbits.


Spring Cinquefoil: The Early Bloomer

Spring Cinquefoil, also known as Potentilla neumanniana, is a beautiful and hardy perennial plant native to the cold and mountainous regions of Eurasia. This plant is a great addition to any garden, providing an early burst of color in the spring season, often blooming as early as March.

The plant has delicate, five-petaled yellow flowers that grow on long stalks, and its leaves are composed of five to seven leaflets, hence the name "cinquefoil" which means "five-fingered." The leaves are green and turn bronze or red in the fall, providing a colorful contrast to the yellow flowers.

Spring Cinquefoil is a low-maintenance plant, and it is very hardy, making it an ideal choice for gardeners who want a beautiful, low-maintenance garden. It is also drought-tolerant and can grow in a variety of soil types, from sandy to clay soils, making it very adaptable to different growing conditions.

This plant is also great for wildlife, attracting bees, butterflies, and birds to your garden. The flowers provide a great source of nectar for bees, and the leaves provide shelter for insects and birds.

Spring Cinquefoil is easy to propagate, and it can be propagated by division or by seed. Simply divide the plant in the fall, or sow seeds in the spring. The plant will grow well in full sun to partial shade and will reach a height of up to 20 cm (8 inches) and a spread of up to 30 cm (12 inches).

In addition to its ornamental value, Spring Cinquefoil is also a versatile plant that can be used for a variety of purposes in the landscape. For example, it can be used as groundcover, as a border plant, in rock gardens, or in naturalized areas.

One of the key benefits of Spring Cinquefoil is its ability to thrive in challenging growing conditions. It is tolerant of cold temperatures and can even survive in harsh mountainous environments. It can also grow well in dry, infertile soils, making it a great choice for gardeners who are looking to add a touch of beauty to less-than-ideal growing conditions.

Another great benefit of this plant is its ability to spread. This means that once it is established in your garden, it will spread and fill in any bare spots, creating a lush and attractive display. This is especially useful if you are looking to cover large areas in your garden with a groundcover plant.

Despite its hardiness, Spring Cinquefoil is still susceptible to some pests and diseases. However, these problems can easily be controlled with proper care and attention. For example, if you notice any damage to the leaves, you can remove the affected leaves and dispose of them. This will help to prevent the spread of pests and diseases to other parts of the plant.

In addition to its ornamental and practical uses, Spring Cinquefoil is also a great choice for gardeners who are looking for a plant that is easy to care for. It requires very little maintenance, and once established, it will continue to grow and bloom year after year.

In conclusion, Spring Cinquefoil is a versatile and hardy plant that is well worth considering for any garden. Whether you are looking for an attractive groundcover, a border plant, or a plant to fill in bare spots in your garden, this plant is sure to provide the beauty and versatility that you are looking for.

The History of Spring Cinquefoil

Spring Cinquefoil, also known as Potentilla neumanniana, is a plant that has a rich history, both culturally and scientifically. This plant has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties, and it has also been cultivated for its ornamental value.

In ancient times, Spring Cinquefoil was used as a medicinal plant to treat a variety of ailments, including skin problems, digestive issues, and even wounds. The plant was believed to have healing properties, and it was used in traditional medicine to help treat a wide range of conditions.

In the 19th century, botanists and plant collectors discovered the beauty and versatility of this plant, and it quickly became a popular choice for gardens all over the world. Today, Spring Cinquefoil is grown in gardens and parks in many countries, and it continues to be prized for its ornamental value and versatility.

From a scientific perspective, Spring Cinquefoil is a fascinating plant. It is a member of the Rosaceae family, which includes plants such as roses, strawberries, and blackberries. This family is known for its attractive flowers and hardy nature, making it a popular choice for gardeners.

In recent years, botanists have been studying the genetic makeup of this plant in order to learn more about its evolution and its relationship to other members of the Rosaceae family. The results of these studies have provided valuable insights into the history and evolution of this plant, and they have helped to shed light on the role that plants like Spring Cinquefoil play in our environment.

In conclusion, Spring Cinquefoil is a plant with a rich history and a fascinating past. Whether you are interested in its medicinal properties, its ornamental value, or its scientific significance, this plant is sure to captivate and inspire. So why not add a touch of history to your garden today with a beautiful and versatile plant like Spring Cinquefoil!

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map