Potentilla thurberi 'Monarch's Velvet'

Common Name: scarlet cinquefoil 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers light, well-drained, sandy loams. Tolerates some dry soils once established. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. Plants come respectably true from seed and may self-seed in the garden. Long flowering stems may need some support.

‘Monarch’s Velvet’ seed is sold in commerce.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Potentilla thurberi is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial that is native to coniferous forests, stream banks and moist meadows in Arizona, New Mexico and northern Mexico. It typically grows to 1-2.5’ tall and features red flowers and palmate compound foliage. It typically forms a compact sprawling foliage mound with erect flowering stems rising to as much as 30” tall. Rose-red to dark-red, cup-shaped flowers bloom June to August with some sporadic continued bloom to frost in some climates. Flowers darken toward the base of the petals to a blackish-red. Stems are clad with palmate, compound leaves, with each leaf having 5-7 toothed ovate to oblanceolate leaflets (each to 1-2” long). Species plants are commonly called red cinquefoil, scarlet cinquefoil or Thurber’s cinquefoil.

Genus name from Latin potens meaning powerful is in reference to the reputed medicinal properties of the plant.

Cinquefoil means five-leaved in reference to the foliage.

‘Monarch’s Velvet’ flowers are a deeper red than those of species plants.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Cottage gardens, rock gardens or border fronts.