Shrubby Cinquefoil

Common name:
Shrubby Cinquefoil
Dasiphora fruticose (formerly Potentilla fruitcosa)
Tor cúigmhéarach
Flowering period:
June to September
Turlough margins, upper lake shore margins, rocky and grassy areas subject to flooding
Conservation Status:
The Burren is the stronghold for this native plant in the whole of Western Europe

Brief Description:

A small shrub many yellow five petaled flowers.  Downy greyish green leaves which are deeply divided (pinnate) forming 5-7 leaflets

Noteworthy characteristics

Another Burren speciality, this is a gorgeous flowering shrub species that occurs in great abundance along turlough margins particularly in the east Burren area. It is absent from the Aran Island flora

The Burren is regarded as the place where the shrubby cinquefoil occurrence is the highest in the whole of western Europe (Webb & Scannel, 1983)

This plant has a cold temperate to Arctic distribution outside of Ireland

The pale lemon yellow rose-like flowers are a beautiful addition to the Burren landscape throughout the Summer and early Autumn months

Male and female flowers occur on separate shrubs.  Male flowers have distinct clusters of stamens in the centre, female flowers do not have stamens

Uses and curiosities

Loved by gardeners, various varieties of this plant have been cultivated
The common name of cinquefoil is a reflection of the leaf shape, cinq meaning 5 and foil means leaf
The dried leaves and stems of shrubby cinquefoil are used as a tea in Siberia (PWJ)
Potentilla comes from the latin potens meaning powerful, reflecting the reputed medicinal properties of many of the Potentilla species


This species is classed as vulnerable in the Red DATA list of vascular plants 2016.

Personal note

I love this plant and this photograph which I took on midsummers day 2021 is one of my all time favourites, this photo was taken late in the evening but the light was still bright and the air so very still


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