Botanical name: Potentilla repatans
Aliases: Common cinquefoil, five finger grass, five leaf, Mary’s five fingers
Creeping cinquefoil is a perennial plant that is a member of the rose family. It is frequently found on waste areas, bare ground, road side verges, shrub & flower borders, grassy areas and neglected lawns and turf.
It is very rare to find it in well managed turf. This mat forming, low growing weed spreads by seed and by creeping runners that root at the nodes.
Given favourable conditions it can rapidly colonise and area, up to 10 square meters in a growing season. Cinquefoil will grow in most soil types, but favours dry, under nourished conditions.
Creeping Cinquefoil Identification
- Leaves: The leaves have 5 leaflets (sometimes 7), each leaflet is narrow and sharply toothed. They are very similar to those of silverweed. However they are arranged differently on creeping cinquefoil, which makes identification between the two relatively easy.
- Flowers: The bright yellow flowers are borne on long stalks measure between 15-25 mm in diameter. Each has 5 heart shaped petals and the flowering period is between the months of June and October.
- Roots: Creeping cinquefoil anchors itself with deep tap roots. (See image below).
Creeping Cinquefoil Images (click image to enlarge)
Prevention and control of creeping cinquefoil
Encourage healthy turf with good turf care practices to prevent this and other weeds from invading. Regular aeration, scarification and applying adequate feed with help create a thick, sward of grass that will suppress weed invasion.
Raking this weed prior to mowing will help remove and weaken it.
A selective weed killer can be used to control creeping cinquefoil, however a single treatment is unlikely to be enough for satisfactory control. In most instances a further application will be required. However, by keeping the turf in optimum condition should keep this weed at bay and chemicals will not be required.
Selective weed killers recommended for the control of creeping cinquefoil
Professional products (The user requires the appropriate certificate/s to apply these products)
Headland Relay Turf (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
React Ultra (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
Everris Praxys (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, Fluosulam)
Bayer Longbow (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
Barclay Holster XL (2,4-D, Fluroxypyr, Dicamba)
Mascot Greenor (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
Mascot Junction (2,4-D, Flurosulam)
Mascot Crossbar (2,4-D, Flurosulam, Dicamba)
Vitax Esteem (2,4-D, Clopyralid, MCPA)
Products available for non-professional use (These products are available from garden centres and DIY stores)
Verdone extra (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
Resolva lawn weed killer (2,4-D, Mecoprop-p, MCPA, Dicamba)
Doff lawn spot weeder (2,4-D, Mecoprop-p, Dichlorprop-p)
Vitax Lawn Clear (2,4-D, Clopyralid, MCPA)
Vitax Green up weed & feed (Dicamba, MCPA)
Weedol lawn weed killer (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
Scotts lawn builder weed & feed (2,4-D, Dicamba)