Cinquefoil is a large genus, including a number of shrubby plants with foliage and flowers often compared to those of the strawberry, a fact that is not too surprising since both plants belong to the rose family. The genus name refers to the word "potent" because the plants were once thought to be the source of miraculous medicines.
Description of cinquefoil: Plants have compound leaves comprised of 5 to 7 leaflets and are coarsely toothed. They bloom in summer with 5-petaled, mahogany-red flowers about a 3/5-inch across. Ease of care: Easy.
: Potentillas need excellent drainage, a spot in full sun, and good soil.
: By division or by seed.
: Cinquefoil is a fine plant for the edge of the border or in the rock garden.
elated species: Potentilla nepalensis, originally from the Himalayas, is a sprawling plant best seen as a border edging plant or in the rock garden. The plant usually offered is Miss Willmott, with flowers of a warm cherry-pink.
elated varieties: Monarch Velvet is raspberry red with a rich, velvety maroon center.
Scientific name of cinquefoil: Potentilla thurberi