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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


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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.

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



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

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].

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].

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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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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Potentilla anserinaSilverweed33
Potentilla bicolor 10
Potentilla chinensisChinese Cinquefoil11
Potentilla cryptotaeniae 01
Potentilla discolor 21
Potentilla egedeiPacific Silverweed21
Potentilla fragarioides 11
Potentilla fruticosaShrubby Cinquefoil, Potentilla11
Potentilla glandulosaGland Cinquefoil, Sticky cinquefoil, Arizona cinquefoil, Ashland cinquefoil, Ewan's cinquefoil, Hans11
Potentilla hippianaWoolly Cinquefoil01
Potentilla kleiniana 11
Potentilla multifida 20
Potentilla nepalensisNepal Cinquefoil, Cinquefoil21
Potentilla norvegicaNorwegian Cinquefoil01
Potentilla palustrisMarsh Cinquefoil11
Potentilla rectaRough-Fruited Cinquefoil, Erect cinquefoil21
Potentilla reptansCinquefoil, Creeping cinquefoil12
Potentilla rupestrisRock Cinquefoil10
Potentilla simplexOld Field Cinquefoil, Common cinquefoil01
Potentilla supina 11

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Raeusch.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

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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