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Rock Cinquefoil

Potentilla rupestris

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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 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, Spring Cinquefoil, 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:
60 centimetres tall
Cliffs, mountains, rocky places, woodland.

White, 5 petals
An insect-pollinated flower with solitary white flowers. Flowers measures from 16 to 28mm in diameter.
A downy perennial flower of cliffs and rocks. The lower leaves are pinnate and toothed. The upper leaves are trefoil and toothed.
Other Names:
Rocky Mountain Cinquefoil.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Potentilla rupestris, also known as rock cinquefoil or rocky mountain cinquefoil, is a species of flowering plant in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is native to North America, where it is found in rocky areas such as cliffs, talus slopes, and mountain summits. It is a perennial herb with small, yellow flowers that bloom from spring to fall. The leaves are divided into five leaflets and are hairy and dark green in color. Potentilla rupestris 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. Potentilla rupestris is often used as an ornamental plant in rock gardens and is also used in landscaping and erosion control.


Potentilla rupestris, also known as Rock Cinquefoil, is a beautiful and low-maintenance plant that can add a pop of color to any garden. This hardy perennial is native to Europe and Asia and is prized for its attractive flowers and ease of care.

The Rock Cinquefoil plant is small, with woody stems and bright green leaves that can grow up to 4 inches long. In the summer months, the plant produces bright yellow, five-petaled flowers that can last for several weeks. These flowers can be up to 1 inch in diameter, making them a popular choice for gardens and rockeries.

One of the main advantages of Rock Cinquefoil is its ability to grow in a range of different soils and conditions. This plant is not fussy about soil type and will grow well in clay, sand, or loam, as long as it is well-drained. It is also highly resistant to drought and can grow in areas that receive very little rainfall. This means that it is an ideal choice for gardeners who live in dry or hot climates.

In addition to its ability to grow in challenging conditions, Rock Cinquefoil is also highly resistant to pests and diseases. This means that gardeners can enjoy a beautiful and healthy plant without having to worry about the common issues that often affect other plants.

Another benefit of Rock Cinquefoil is its versatility. This plant can be used in a variety of different ways in the garden. It is often used as a groundcover, as it spreads quickly and forms a dense carpet of foliage and flowers. It can also be used as a rockery plant, where it can add color and interest to a rock garden. Additionally, Rock Cinquefoil can be used as a border plant, where it can provide a bright and cheerful backdrop to other plants.

Rock Cinquefoil is a versatile and hardy plant that is ideal for gardeners of all levels of experience. Whether you're looking for a groundcover, rockery plant, or border plant, this plant is sure to add beauty and interest to your garden.

Another aspect of Rock Cinquefoil that gardeners will appreciate is its low maintenance requirements. Once established, this plant requires very little care and attention, making it an ideal choice for those who want a beautiful garden without having to spend a lot of time and effort maintaining it.

Rock Cinquefoil is also a great plant for wildlife. The bright yellow flowers provide a source of nectar for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, while the leaves and stems provide shelter and food for other insects. This makes Rock Cinquefoil a great choice for gardeners who are interested in attracting wildlife to their gardens.

When it comes to planting Rock Cinquefoil, it is best to plant it in full sun to partial shade. This plant can tolerate some shade, but it will bloom best in full sun. When planting, it is important to make sure that the soil is well-drained, as this plant does not like to be in wet or waterlogged soil. It is also a good idea to mulch around the plant to help retain moisture in the soil and suppress weeds.

When it comes to maintenance, Rock Cinquefoil is a low-maintenance plant that requires very little attention. However, it is a good idea to prune the plant back after it has finished blooming to encourage new growth and keep the plant looking neat and tidy. It is also a good idea to remove any dead or yellow leaves to keep the plant looking its best.

In conclusion, Rock Cinquefoil is a beautiful, low-maintenance, and versatile plant that is perfect for any garden. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this plant is sure to provide you with years of enjoyment and color.

Another advantage of Rock Cinquefoil is its ability to grow in a range of different climates. This plant is hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as -40°F, making it suitable for gardeners who live in colder climates. It is also able to withstand high temperatures and is able to grow in hot and dry climates, making it ideal for gardeners who live in areas with hot summers.

When it comes to propagation, Rock Cinquefoil is very easy to propagate. This can be done by dividing the plant in the spring or fall, or by taking cuttings in the summer. This makes it easy for gardeners to increase their stock of plants and create more beautiful displays in their gardens.

Rock Cinquefoil is also an excellent choice for use in landscaping projects. This plant can be used to create natural-looking rock gardens, to cover slopes and banks, or as an attractive ground cover. With its attractive yellow flowers, bright green foliage, and low maintenance requirements, Rock Cinquefoil is sure to add beauty and interest to any landscaping project.

In addition to its landscaping uses, Rock Cinquefoil is also an excellent choice for use in a cottage garden or informal garden setting. Its bright yellow flowers and informal habit make it a great choice for gardens that are designed to look natural and relaxed.

In conclusion, Rock Cinquefoil is a beautiful, hardy, and versatile plant that is perfect for gardeners of all levels of experience. Whether you're looking to add color and interest to your garden, or to create a beautiful and natural-looking landscape, Rock Cinquefoil is sure to provide you with years of enjoyment and beauty. So why not give Rock Cinquefoil a try today and see for yourself why this plant is so highly valued by gardeners all over the world!

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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