Cinquefoil Potentilla atrosanguinea

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
dark crimson cinquefoil


Potentilla atrosanguinea, commonly known as the dark crimson cinquefoil, is an attractive perennial plant that is known for its striking flowers and foliage. The plant features palmate leaves, which means the leaves are divided into leaflets that spread out from a central point, resembling an open hand. Each leaf normally has five or seven toothed leaflets, creating a textured and full appearance. The flowers of the dark crimson cinquefoil are particularly noteworthy, boasting a rich, deep red or crimson color. They typically have a saucer shape and are composed of five petals with a slightly darker center. These blossoms are set against the backdrop of the lush green foliage, creating a vivid contrast that catches the eye. The flowers are arranged in loose clusters, which add to the plant's overall ornamental appeal. Throughout its blooming period, which generally occurs in the summer, the dark crimson cinquefoil brings a splash of intense color to the landscape. The plant has a bushy, clump-forming habit, which allows it to fit in well in garden beds, borders, and as part of a rock garden ensemble. It is also valued for its hardiness and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions, making it a popular choice among gardeners looking to add perennial color to their outdoor spaces.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Himalayan Cinquefoil, Red Cinquefoil, Bloody Cinquefoil, Dark Crimson Cinquefoil

    • Common names

      Potentilla atrosanguinea var. argyrophylla, Potentilla atrosanguinea var. atrosanguinea, Potentilla atrosanguinea var. argentea.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Cinquefoil, specifically Potentilla atrosanguinea, is generally not listed as a toxic plant to humans. There is no widely recognized evidence to suggest that it contains harmful toxins, and it does not typically cause poisoning when touched or ingested. However, as with many plants, individual allergies or sensitivities can occur, so it is advisable to be cautious when handling or ingesting plants that you are not familiar with.

    • To pets

      Cinquefoil, specifically Potentilla atrosanguinea, is not known to be toxic to pets. It is not commonly listed on toxic plant databases for dogs, cats, or other domestic animals. Therefore, ingestion of this plant is not expected to cause poisoning or serious health issues in pets. However, individual animals may have sensitivities, and ingestion of non-food plants can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea. If your pet consumes an unfamiliar plant, it is always best to monitor them for any signs of distress and consult a veterinarian if any adverse reactions occur.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Potentilla atrosanguinea, commonly known as Himalayan Cinquefoil, is often used in gardens for its attractive, deep red to orange flowers which enhance aesthetic appeal.
    • Drought Tolerance: This plant is known for its ability to withstand periods of low water availability, making it suitable for rock gardens and drought-prone areas.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The brightly colored flowers are effective at attracting bees and butterflies, which are important pollinators for gardens and ecosystems.
    • Low Maintenance: Himalayan Cinquefoil is considered to be low-maintenance, requiring minimal care once established, which can save time and resources for gardeners.
    • Cold Hardy: The plant is tolerant of cold temperatures, making it a versatile choice for gardens in cooler climates.
    • Soil Adaptability: It can adapt to a range of soil types, although it prefers well-draining soils, making it versatile for different garden settings.
    • Ground Cover: Its spreading habit allows it to cover ground effectively, which can help with soil erosion control and weed suppression.
    • Long Blooming Period: With a blooming season that lasts from late spring to mid-summer, it provides long-lasting visual interest in gardens and landscapes.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antidiarrheal: Potentilla atrosanguinea has been used to help alleviate diarrhea.
    • Antiseptic: The plant has been used for its disinfectant properties to clean wounds and prevent infection.
    • Astringent: Rich in tannins, it is used to tighten tissues and stop bleeding.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Potentilla atrosanguinea, commonly known as Cinquefoil, can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, providing a range of colors from yellows to greens depending on the mordant used.
    • The crushed leaves of Cinquefoil may be rubbed on wooden surfaces as a natural polish and to repel wood boring insects.
    • In the garden, Cinquefoil can serve as a companion plant due to its ability to attract beneficial insects that help in pollination and pest control.
    • The flowers of Cinquefoil can be used in decorative arrangements and potpourri for their aesthetic value and mild fragrance.
    • Dried Cinquefoil can be used as a stuffing material for herbal pillows and sachets, potentially serving as a natural sleep aid.
    • Cinquefoil can be incorporated into natural insect repellent formulations due to its chemical constituents that may deter insects.
    • As ground cover, Cinquefoil can help with soil erosion control by stabilizing loose soil with its root system.
    • Cinquefoil plants can be used in landscape design to create border edges and define pathways due to their low-growing habit.
    • The seeds of Cinquefoil can be provided as an additional food source for birds in wildlife-friendly gardens.
    • Cinquefoil's dense foliage can provide microhabitats for small beneficial fauna, promoting biodiversity in the garden environment.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Himalayan Cinquefoil is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Himalayan Cinquefoil is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Charm and Attraction: Potentilla atrosanguinea, commonly known as the 'Cinquefoil', is often thought to symbolize charm and attraction due to its bright and captivating flowers.
    • Protection: In medieval times, Cinquefoil was considered a symbol of protection and was often used in magical potions and amulets to ward off evil.
    • Maternal Affection: The five-petaled flowers of the Cinquefoil have been connected to the idea of maternal love and care, representing a mother's deep affection for her children.
    • Wisdom: The Cinquefoil's connection to the number five, which is often associated with the human body and senses, has lent it to symbolize wisdom and knowledge in various cultures.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For the Potentilla atrosanguinea, commonly known as the Himalayan Cinquefoil, it is essential to maintain consistently moist soil without overwatering. Water the plant thoroughly once the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, usually every 7 to 10 days depending on the climate and weather conditions. During the active growth period in spring and summer, Himalayan Cinquefoil may require approximately one gallon of water every week, but this should be adjusted according to the plant's response and the local weather. In winter, reduce watering frequency as the plant enters dormancy and requires less moisture.

  • sunLight

    Himalayan Cinquefoil thrives best in full sun to partial shade conditions. The ideal spot for this plant is a location where it can receive at least six hours of sunlight a day, with some protection from the intense afternoon sun if located in a region with very hot summers. Dappled sunlight or light shade during the hottest part of the day can prevent leaf scorch.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Himalayan Cinquefoil is cold-hardy and can withstand minimum temperatures down to about -20°F. The ideal temperature range for growing this plant is between 60°F and 75°F, which are typical daytime temperatures during the growing season in many temperate regions. It is vital to protect the plant from extreme heat, as temperatures consistently above 85°F can stress the Himalayan Cinquefoil.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Himalayan Cinquefoil should be done to remove dead or damaged stems and to maintain the desired shape of the plant. It is best to prune this plant in the early spring before new growth begins, typically once a year. Deadheading spent flowers during the blooming season can also encourage additional blooms and prevent the plant from becoming too leggy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Himalayan Cinquefoil, the best soil mix is one that offers good drainage yet retains adequate moisture. Incorporating a mix of loam, peat, and sharp sand can achieve this balance. The ideal pH for this plant should be between 6.0 and 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Himalayan Cinquefoil should be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when it outgrows its current container. It's best to repot in the spring or early summer.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Himalayan Cinquefoil prefers moderate humidity levels but is adaptable to various humidity conditions provided it's not too extreme, leaning towards arid or overly damp environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in well-lit area avoiding direct strong sunlight.

    • Outdoor

      Grow in full sun to partial shade, enrich soil with organic matter.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Potentilla atrosanguinea, commonly known as the Himalayan cinquefoil, begins its life cycle as a seed, typically sown in the spring after the last frost, where it germinates in moist, well-drained soil. Upon germination, it develops a rosette of leaves at the soil level and eventually sends up stems with more leaves, in its vegetative growth phase. During the flowering stage, which occurs in early to mid-summer, the plant produces clusters of deep red to orange flowers, which are attractive to pollinators and critical for sexual reproduction. After pollination, the flowers develop into small, dry fruits (achenes) which contain seeds that will disperse, either by wind or with the help of animals. The plant is perennial, so after the blooming period, it will enter a dormant phase in the late fall or winter, with the above-ground parts dying back, and the root system remaining alive underground. The next spring, Himalayan cinquefoil resumes growth from the rootstock, starting the cycle anew.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • The most popular method of propagating Himalayan Cinquefoil (Potentilla atrosanguinea) is through seed germination. Ideally, the seeds should be sown as soon as they are ripe in a cold frame. If that is not possible, store the seeds in a refrigerator and sow them in late winter or early spring. To sow, you should lightly cover the seeds with soil in a seed tray or pots using well-draining potting mix. It is important to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged, and to provide adequate light. Once the seedlings have emerged and are large enough to handle, usually when they have developed a couple sets of true leaves, they can be transplanted to individual pots and later moved to their final positions when all risk of frost has passed.