Potentilla atrosanguinea

Common Name: cinquefoil 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Himalayas
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Dark red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought


Easily grown in average, moist but well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade, but will not grow in full shade. Established plants have respectable drought tolerance. Excellent winter hardiness, with best performance occurring in cool northern summer climates. Will reseed in the garden in optimum growing conditions. Plants often perform poorly in hot and humid summers south of USDA Zone 7.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Potentilla atrosanguinea, commonly known as Himalayan cinquefoil or ruby cinquefoil, is a vigorous herbaceous perennial of the rose family that typically grows in spreading mounds to 18-30” tall. It is native to mountain slopes at lower elevations in the Himalayas.

Each plant features a clump of long-stalked, palmate, basal leaves, with each leaf being divided into 3 finger-like, long-petioled, oblong-lanceolate, serrate-dentate, glossy dark green leaflets (to 1.5” long) which are white-tomentose below. Five-petaled, rose-like, ruby red flowers (3/4” across) bloom in spring (late April - June) in loose clusters (2-5 flowered apical cymes) which rise above the foliage to 30” tall. Modest repeat bloom in fall may occur.

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

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word atrosanguineus meaning dark blood red in reference to the flower color.

The common name of cinquefoil comes from the Latin words qunique meaning five and folium meaning leaf in reference to the 5 leaflets found on the leaves of some genus plants.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Borders. Rock gardens.