TORMENTIL

Potentilla erecta

Rose Family [Rosaceae]  

month8May month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ4
 
stem
stem8round
 
rarity
rarityZuncommon
(ssp. strictissima)

14th Aug 2004, Pendle Hill. Photo: © RWD


1st July 2005, Irton Fell, Ravenglass. Photo: © RWD


3rd Sept 2004, Coniston Fells. Photo: © RWD


3rd Sept 2004, Coniston Fells. Photo: © RWD


5th June 2006, Farleton Fell, Burton-in-Kendal. Photo: © RWD


19th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Ann Collier
The deep-yellow anthers are flattened discs with shallow groove along the centre.


19th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Ann Collier
The green ovary in the centre is 4-lobed. It has what might be 4(?) yellow styles spreading out from the centre of the ovary.


Easily confused with Hybrid Cinquefoil and Trailing Tormentil

Both a yellow dye and a red dye can be extracted from the roots of this plant. One is a phlobaphene, one of the natural tannins of uncertain and somewhat variable chemical structure which are often highly coloured and used as dyes. The Giant Redwood Tree Sequoia sempervirens has red-coloured phlobaphenes as do certain varieties of highly-coloured Maize. There are several other sources of phlobaphenes and their other coloured cousins Kinotannins and Cinchotannic Acids.

There are two sub-species:

  • (Potentilla erecta ssp. erecta) with stems up to 25cm long with stem-leaves serrated only in the furthest half and with teeth less than 1.5mm, the leaf at the top is 6 to 16mm long, and smallish petals 2.5 to 4.5mm long. It is common throughout the British Isles in lowlands.
  • (Potentilla erecta ssp. strictissima) which is the slightly larger and more robust of the two, with potentially longer stems 15 to 45cm long, has more coarsely-toothed leaves, stem-leaves are serrate over most of their length, the leaf at the top is larger at 12-30mm, and the petals larger at 4 to 6mm. Grows in the upland areas of Britain northwards from South Devon; and in Southern Irelnd. [R]

Tormentil also hybridises with:


USE BY BUTTERFLIES
LAYS EGGS ON CATERPILLAR CHRYSALIS BUTTERFLY
Grizzled Skipper
Marsh Fritillary
Mountain Ringlet



  Potentilla erecta  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Rosaceae  

Distribution
family8rose family8Rosacaea
 BSBI maps
genus8Potentilla
Potentilla
(Cinquefoils)

TORMENTIL

Potentilla erecta

Rose Family [Rosaceae]  

WildFlowerFinder Homepage