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Pest Information

Sulfur Cinquefoil

Sulfur Cinquefoil

  • Latin Name: Potentilla Recta
  • Common Name: Sulfur Cinquefoil
  • Other Names: Rough-fruited cinquefoil, sulphur cinquefoil

Pest Details

Sulfur Cinquefoil
Sulfur Cinquefoil
Sulfur Cinquefoil


Introduced from Europe and now spread throughout the United States and Canada, with the exception of the dry southwestern U.S.


A perennial weed that reproduces from seeds, but spreads by rhizomes as well. It is found commonly in turf and landscape, thriving best in poorly maintained conditions. It also is found along roadsides and in disturbed sites, and in meadows, wooded areas, and open fields. Many cinquefoils are sold as ornamental ground coverings, and can become invasive from the site where planted.


Mature plants are erect and unbranched, and this species differs from other species by having no stolons and by having from 5 to 9 leaflets on the compound leaves. Stems and leaves are covered with long, soft hairs. Leaflets are elongate oval, much narrower at the base than the tip, with rounded tips and deeply toothed margins. Flowers are bright yellow to yellow-white, and are produced on long stalks that arise from the leaf axils. The 5 petals are well separated at their bases, and surround the prominent stamens.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Physical removal is generally ineffective due to the underground rhizomes. A systemic herbicide will be effective in controlling the entire plant. Good turf health and vigor will reduce the ability for the weed to grow well in the turf.

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