Dark Crimson Cinquefoil – planting, care and tips

Dark Crimson Cinquefoil
Dark Crimson Cinquefoil - by Jerzy Opioła

The velvety red flowers of the extremely robust Dark Crimson Cinquefoil give every combination of shrubs a mysterious sparkle.

Profile of Dark Crimson Cinquefoil:

Scientific name: Potentilla atrosanguinea

Plant family: rose family (Rosaceae)

Other names: Himalayan cinquefoil, Ruby Cinquefoil

Planting time: Spring and Autumn

Flowering period: June to August

Location: sunny to partially shaded

Soil quality: sandy to loamy, nutrient rich

These information are for temperate climate!

Use in: flower beds, group planting, under wood planting, borders, flower garden, natural garden

Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 5

Bee and insect friendly: Yes

Plant characteristics and classification of Dark Crimson Cinquefoil

Plant order, origin and occurrence of Dark Crimson Cinquefoil

The Ruby Cinquefoil (Potentilla atrosanguinea) is originally native to mountain meadows in the Nepalese Himalayan region. In addition to the species also found there, the Himalayan cinquefoil, is defining in the cultivation of the color-intensive garden cinquefoils. The genus of cinquefoils belongs to the plant family of the rose family (Rosaceae) and has their typical characteristics such as the pentagonal number of flowers and a distinctive flower cup.

Characteristics of Dark Crimson Cinquefoil


Potentilla atrosanguinea forms bushy clusters with upright stems that reach heights of 40 to 50 centimeters (16 to 20 in).


The finger-like divided and serrated leaves of the Dark Crimson Cinquefoil are soft and silvery hairy on the underside. Their intense green forms a nice contrast to the red flowers. The leaves are reminiscent of strawberries.


The heyday of Potentilla atrosanguinea begins in June and ends in July / August. Their simple flowers form at the end of the stems and inspire with a velvety red shade.


The wild species of Dark Crimson Cinquefoil forms nuts that contain the seeds.

Dark Crimson Cinquefoil – cultivation and care


Potentilla atrosanguinea appreciates bright, not too hot places that may also be in partial shade.


The Himalayan Cinquefoil prefers a fresh, loamy or sandy garden soil. Good permeability is important, waterlogging soils should be avoided.


Cultivated seedlings of Potentilla atrosanguinea can be planted throughout the season, but ideal planting times are, like most garden plants, spring and autumn. A planting distance of 35 centimeters (14 in) is recommended. With extensive planting, eight specimens are placed per square meter.


The Himalayan cinquefoil can be propagated by dividing the root ball, preferably in spring or autumn, or by cuttings. The cuttings should be about 10 centimeters (4 in) long. Make sure that there are no buds or flowers on the cutting, after all, all the strength should be used for root formation. The head cuttings should not be completely bald either, there should already be a few leaves or pairs of leaves on it.


Once grown, the Dark Crimson Cinquefoil will thrive without any special measures. By regularly pruning wilted flowers up to the upper stem leaves, you can extend the flowering period.

Diseases and pests

Like all cinquefoils, Potentilla atrosanguinea is also unaffected by plant diseases and pests.


The Ruby Cinquefoil is completely hardy and sprouts every spring.

Use in the garden

The small-flowered perennial is most beautiful when planted in small groups on open spaces with wild perennial character, in beds or borders or on the edge of the wood. Accompanying contrasts to the red flowers of the Dark Crimson Cinquefoil are the blue flowers of catnip, bellflower or balloon flower as well as yellow-flowering partners such as sneezeweed (Helenium) or evening primrose.


Potentilla atrosanguinea ‘Gibson’s Scarlet’ is a proven variety with scarlet flowers and a black center.

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