Down Garden Services


Trailing Tormentil

Scientific Name: Potentilla anglica
Other name: English cinquefoil
Family: Rosaceae

Trailing Tormentil is a native to Europe, but has become naturalised in other parts of the world where it was introduced as a garden plant and it has escaped to the wild. It may be mistaken on first sighting, for a Creeping Buttercup due to the similarity of the flowers and seedheads, but the leaves are very different and it forms a more compact clump which is not as invasive.
The flowers of the Tormentil are borne singly on a stalk arising from leaf nodes along the creeping stems, appearing from June to September and usually have four petals - sometimes five. A close relative P.reptans can hybridise with it - the offspring are sterile. The flowers of P. reptans have five petals.
The leaves are palmate with three or five leaflets and are borne on stalks about 1-2cm long.

It is not usually a problem weed, but can invade the lawn. Small infestations can be weeded out. Use a spring-tined rake to lift the stems before mowing to reduce the spread.

Weedkillers to use:-
Glyphosate, systemic action killing the whole plant. Apply as spot weeder in the lawn. Treat the whole lawn with a selective weedkiller on its own ( eg. Verdone Extra) or a weed-and-feed type, it will probably take two or three applications to eradicate it because of the reservoir of seed and more mature plants may recover.

Follow these links for further details on Weeds, Weed Removal and Weed Prevention.

picture of Trailing Tormentil