Cinquefoil: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about cinquefoil

Cinquefoil is an herbaceous flowering perennial in the Rosaceae, or Rose family. It is a low, clumb-forming plant with slender, procumbent to upright stalks, growing 10–30 cm. tall and with non-rooting runners.

This plant flowers from May to August/September. There is one yellow, 7–11 mm wide flower, growing at the tip of a long stalk. There are almost always four notched petals, each with a length between 3 and 6 mm. Four petals are rather uncommon in the rose family. The petals are somewhat longer than the sepals. There are 20-25 stamens. The glossy leaves are pinnately compound. The radical leaves have a long petiole, while the leaves on the stalks are usually sessile and have sometimes shorter petioles. Each leaf consists of three obovate leaflets with serrate leaf margins. The stipules are leaflike and palmately lobed.

There are 2-8 dry, inedible fruits.

common names & nomenclature
Cinquefoil comes from the Middle English cinkfoil, which means “five leaf”.

Also known as:
five fingers, synkefoyle, five-finger blossom, sunkfield. potentilla canadensis, european five finger grass, finger grass, five finger grass finger leaf, tormentil, tormentilla erecta, potentilla tormentilla, tormentil root, septfoil, potentilla tormentilla stokes, potentilla sylvestris neck. aert-bark, barr braonan-nan-con, biscuits, blood-root, braonan bachlag, braonan fraoch, braonan nan con, cairt làir, eartbar, earthbank, earth-barth, ewe daisy, ewe-daisy, flesh and blood, leamhnach, leanartach, leannartach, shepherd's knot, shepherd's knapperty, star flower, thormantle, tormenting root

Cinquefoil, the ornamental plant for love
Cinquefoil: Where in the World
habitat and range for cinquefoil

Cinquefoil grows wild all over Asia and northern Europe, including Britain, from Scandinavia south and east to N. Africa, W. Asia, and Siberia.

Cinquefoil: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting cinquefoil

Cinquefoil grows wild mostly in a wide variety of habitats, such as clearings, meadows, sandy soils and dunes, grassland, heath, bog, fens, mountain tops and open woods. Prefers a position in full sun but will tolerate shade.

Easily grown in a well-drained loam soil. Grows best in light acid soils.

Sow seed in early spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, transplant the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent locations in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. These plants can also be divided in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent locations. It is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Harvest cinquefoil leaves during the growing season and the rhizomes at the end of the growing season. Dry them thoroughly.

Cut dried leaves and rhizomes into smaller pieces, store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Cinquefoil: The Rest of the Story
cinquefoil history, folklore, literature & more

cinquefoil—beyond love and good luck
In the medieval times, cinquefoil was quite a popular herb. In fact, it was used in magical potions all the time. It was most often used in love potions designed to help romance blossom. Later, it became a good luck charm for fishermen who were hoping to have a huge harvest. And while these uses were very common, it turns out that cinquefoil has some much more powerful effects on the health of the body.

Cinquefoil is an astringent. That means that it can help to clean wounds and fight off bacteria and other germs that threaten to cause infection. It can be used for many things on the body in this regard. For example, it can be used as a mouthwash or gargle to treat pain and inflammation in the mouth.

You can also use cinquefoil to help treat diarrhea. It will help you to slow the digestive system so that you don’t become dehydrated. It will also give you relief from the terrible cramps associated with it.

Cinquefoil can also be used to treat fevers. It can help you to reduce your fever and feel better so that you can return to good health. It can also prevent fever from returning when you’re ill.

If you’re suffering from any type of bleeding, you’ll find that cinquefoil can come to the rescue. It’s particularly helpful when it comes to problems with nosebleeds. Using it can help to stop the bleeding. In addition, if you have a condition that has caused internal bleeding, cinquefoil can help to stop that as well. Cinquefoil constricts tissues. That means it can tighten blood vessels that are causing the problems in the first place.

Cinquefoil can be taken in many forms. You can use the decoction, tincture, or infusion of the herb. In addition it also comes in powder form. This can be added to liquids or made into capsules for your use. However, you may get a more immediate benefit from an infusion.

While cinquefoil may not actually help you to catch the eye of someone special, you can be happy that it can actually help your body to be healthier. It’s no longer used in love potions, but it can certainly be used to help keep your body on track.

If you suffer from nosebleeds on a continual basis or if you have internal bleeding from ulcers or other sources, you’ll want to make cinquefoil a part of your medicine cabinet.