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Potentilla erecta - (L.)Raeusch.

Common Name Tormentil, Erect cinquefoil
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Gastrointestinal symptoms if doses over 1g. Interferes with iron absorption & other minerals when taken internally. Avoid if inflammatory or ulcerative bowel disease. Avoid if pregnant or lactating [301].
Habitats Grassland, heath, bog, fens, mountain tops and open woods[17], especially in light acid soils[165].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa, W. Asia, Siberia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Potentilla erecta Tormentil, Erect cinquefoil


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:300_Potentilla_erecta.jpg
Potentilla erecta Tormentil, Erect cinquefoil
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Potentilla erecta is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Tormentilla erecta L.

Habitats

 Meadow; Hedgerow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses: Tea

The roots are extremely rich in tannin, long boiling converts this into a gum and it can then be eaten [115]. An emergency food, it is only eaten when all else fails[177]. A tea is made from the rhizomes[183].

Medicinal Uses

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Antibiotic  Antidiarrhoeal  Astringent  Enuresis  Haemostatic  Hypoglycaemic  Odontalgic

Containing more tannin than oak bark, all parts of tormentil are strongly astringent, finding use wherever that action is required. This plant is considered to be one of the safest native astringents and it is widely used in herbal medicine in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, sore throats etc[4, 238, 254]. The whole plant, and especially the root, is antibiotic, strongly astringent, haemostatic and hypoglycaemic[4, 7, 9, 21, 165]. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, ulcerative colitis etc[254]. Externally, the plant makes a good styptic for cuts etc., and a strongly made decoction has been recommended as a wash for mouth ulcers, infected gums, piles and inflamed eyes[4, 254]. Extracts are used to treat chapping of the anus and cracked nipples[7]. The plant's effectiveness as a toothache remedy is undeniable and it has also been of benefit in treating bed-wetting by children[7].

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Other Uses

Cosmetic  Dye  Tannin

A red dye is obtained from the roots[4, 66, 115]. The plant, and especially the root, is rich in tannin[4, 7]. It s used cosmetically as a compress to tone up flabby skin[7]. The root contains up to 20% tannin[238].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Easily grown in a well-drained loam, preferring a position in full sun but tolerating shade[1]. Prefers a light acid soil, disliking heavy and strongly calcareous soils[17]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow early spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Potentilla anserinaSilverweedPerennial0.3 4-8 FLMHSNM332
Potentilla bicolor Perennial1.0 5-9  LMHSNM10 
Potentilla chinensisChinese CinquefoilPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNM11 
Potentilla cryptotaeniae Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNM01 
Potentilla discolor Perennial0.3 -  LMHSNM21 
Potentilla egedeiPacific SilverweedPerennial0.5 4-8  LMHSNM21 
Potentilla fragarioides Perennial0.3 -  LMHSNM11 
Potentilla fruticosaShrubby Cinquefoil, PotentillaShrub1.2 2-6 MLMHSNM11 
Potentilla glandulosaGland Cinquefoil, Sticky cinquefoil, Arizona cinquefoil, Ashland cinquefoil, Ewan's cinquefoil, HansPerennial0.6 6-9  LMHSNM11 
Potentilla hippianaWoolly CinquefoilPerennial0.6 5-9  LMHSNM01 
Potentilla kleiniana Perennial0.3 -  LMHSNM11 
Potentilla multifida Perennial0.3 3-7  LMHSNM20 
Potentilla nepalensisNepal Cinquefoil, CinquefoilPerennial0.6 5-10 MLMHSNM21 
Potentilla norvegicaNorwegian CinquefoilAnnual/Perennial0.3 3-7  LMHSNM01 
Potentilla palustrisMarsh CinquefoilPerennial0.5 3-7  LMHSNWe11 
Potentilla rectaRough-Fruited Cinquefoil, Erect cinquefoilPerennial0.6 4-8  LMHSNM210
Potentilla reptansCinquefoil, Creeping cinquefoilPerennial1.0 4-8  LMHNDM120
Potentilla rupestrisRock CinquefoilPerennial0.5 4-8  LMHSNDM10 
Potentilla simplexOld Field Cinquefoil, Common cinquefoilPerennial0.1 3-7  LMHSNM010
Potentilla supina Annual/Perennial0.3 -  LMHSNM11 

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Raeusch.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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Readers comment

Alena   Sun Apr 9 2006

This is a very useful site. My family is using this root for ages as a medicine for any stomach problems. I know where it grows in Europe. Does it grow in North America?

Eleanor Carlingford Reeves   Tue May 8 2007

I am an artist doing some research about the use of potentilla erecta for the tanning of sails on the Scottish islands. Does anyone have knowledge of this practice - any info on it?

Emma G   Fri Jun 19 2009

This page is a great help however my allotment is completely overgrown with this plant. Any tips on removing it?

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