Marsh cinquefoil

Marsh Cinquefoil

©Les Binns

Marsh cinquefoil

Scientific name: Potentilla palustris
Look for the deep magenta, star-shaped flowers of Marsh cinquefoil in marshes, bogs, fens and wetlands in the north, west and east of the UK.

Species information


Height: up to 50cm

Conservation status


When to see

May to July


Marsh cinquefoil likes wet, boggy places, fens and peaty meadows. When it is in flower, between May and July, it is a good source of food for nectar-loving insects, such as bees and hoverflies. Marsh cinquefoil is one of a number of cinquefoils, but is unique in the UK as the only one with deep magenta flowers - the rest have yellow flowers. It is a member of the rose family.

How to identify

Marsh cinquefoil can be identified by its magenta, star-shaped flowers (the red 'petals' are actually sepals) and the pinkish tinge to its green parts. Its leaves are divided into five long lobes with toothed margins.


Widespread in the north and west of the UK, but less common in the south and East Anglia.

Did you know?

One particular type of weevil, Phytobius comari, lives on nothing but Marsh cinquefoil.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.