Potentilla reptans (Creeping Cinquefoil)


A perennial herb of woodland rides, grassland, hedgerows, banks and roadsides, and waste and cultivated ground, generally on neutral to basic soils. It reproduces by seed and spreads rapidly by runners. Generally lowland, reaching 415 m at Stainmore (Westmorland).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Southern-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

Broad Habitats

Neutral grassland (includes coarse Arrhenatherum grassland)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 959

Life form information

Height (cm): 30

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Far-creeping by stolons in illuminated medium

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1882

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 769

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 11

Atlas Change Index: -0.62

Weighted Changed Factor: -7

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (123b)
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
Hultén, E., and Fries M.
, Königstein, (1986)

Plant crib 1998,
Rich, T. C. G., and Jermy A. C.
, London, (1998)