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Trefoil Cinquefoil

Potentilla norvegica

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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 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, 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, 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:
50 centimetres tall
Cliffs, grassland, mountains, wasteland.

Yellow, 5 petals
Flowers each have 5 rounded, bright yellow petals. The sepals are tipped red. Flowers are 10 to 15mm in size. The flowers are much brighter than those of the similar looking Sulphur Cinquefoil (Potentilla recta). Pollinated by insects.
The fruit is a cluster of pale brown achenes.
A short lived perennial flower with stalked leaves, divided into either 3 or 5 leaflets. The toothed leaflets are about 2 inches (5cm) long and are lance-shaped. The basal leaves have narrow, sharply pointed stipules.
Other Names:
Mountain Cinquefoil, Norwegian Cinquefoil, Rough Cinquefoil, Ternate-leaved Cinquefoil.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Potentilla norvegica, also known as Norwegian cinquefoil or mountain cinquefoil, is a species of flowering plant in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is native to Europe and Asia, and is found in mountainous areas, cliffs, and rocky slopes. 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 norvegica 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 norvegica is often used as an ornamental plant in rock gardens and is also used in landscaping and erosion control.


Trefoil Cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica) is a beautiful flowering plant that is native to the Northern Hemisphere. This plant is commonly found in the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. It is a low-growing plant that forms a dense mat of green leaves and produces yellow flowers from May to September.

Trefoil Cinquefoil is an easy plant to grow and is suitable for a variety of soils, including clay and sand. It prefers a sunny or partially shaded location and is drought tolerant, making it a great choice for rock gardens, alpine gardens, and as a groundcover.

One of the unique characteristics of Trefoil Cinquefoil is its leaves, which are divided into three leaflets and are typically a bright green color. The plant produces small yellow flowers that are arranged in clusters and are very attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

The plant is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including digestive problems and skin irritations. In traditional medicine, the roots of the plant were dried and ground into a powder to make a medicinal tea.

In terms of its cultural significance, Trefoil Cinquefoil has been a symbol of love, hope, and happiness for many centuries. It is often used in bouquets and as a decoration for special occasions, such as weddings and christenings.

Trefoil Cinquefoil is a beautiful and versatile plant that is easy to grow and care for. It is well suited to a variety of gardens, from rock gardens to alpine gardens, and its yellow flowers are sure to bring joy and happiness to any garden.

Trefoil Cinquefoil is also a great plant for attracting wildlife to your garden. Its bright yellow flowers are a source of nectar for many different species of pollinators, and its dense mat of leaves provides cover and shelter for other small creatures like insects and reptiles. Additionally, its low-growing habit makes it a great choice for gardens with pets, as it is unlikely to be damaged by playful paws.

This plant is also low maintenance, making it a great choice for gardeners who want a beautiful garden without having to put in a lot of time and effort. It is also resistant to deer and rabbits, making it a good choice for gardens in areas where these animals are common.

Trefoil Cinquefoil is also a great plant for gardeners who want to be environmentally friendly. This plant is a great choice for gardeners who want to create a garden that is kind to the environment and is beneficial to wildlife. It is a low-growing plant that does not require regular pruning or maintenance, so it does not produce a lot of waste or cause harm to wildlife.

Finally, Trefoil Cinquefoil is a great plant for gardeners who want to add color to their garden. Its bright yellow flowers are sure to add a splash of color to any garden and are sure to attract attention. Whether you want to create a colorful border, or simply add a pop of color to a shaded area of your garden, Trefoil Cinquefoil is the perfect choice.

Trefoil Cinquefoil is also a great plant for creating a natural-looking garden. It forms a dense mat of green leaves and yellow flowers, which can be used to cover large areas of ground or to create natural-looking borders. The plant is also suitable for planting in rock gardens and alpine gardens, and its yellow flowers provide a bright contrast against the natural stone and rock.

This plant is also an excellent choice for gardeners who want to create a wildlife-friendly garden. As mentioned earlier, its yellow flowers are a source of nectar for pollinators like bees and butterflies, and its dense mat of leaves provides cover and shelter for other small creatures.

Another great thing about Trefoil Cinquefoil is that it is very hardy and can withstand a wide range of growing conditions. This plant is not fussy about soil type and can grow in both clay and sand soils. It can also withstand dry conditions, making it a great choice for areas that receive low rainfall.

Finally, Trefoil Cinquefoil is also a great plant for gardeners who want to create a low-maintenance garden. This plant does not require regular pruning or maintenance and is very easy to care for. Once established, it can be left to grow and spread naturally, without the need for any additional attention.

In conclusion, Trefoil Cinquefoil is a great choice for gardeners who want to create a natural-looking, low-maintenance, and wildlife-friendly garden. Whether you want to create a colorful border, or simply add a pop of color to a shaded area of your garden, this plant is the perfect choice. So, if you are looking for a beautiful and easy-to-care-for flowering plant, Trefoil Cinquefoil is definitely worth considering.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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