Common cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex). Photo: David Stephens,

Updated: March 2, 2023

General description

Common cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex) is a perennial plant native to Maryland. It reaches only 4-6 inches tall. Stems are rough and hairy. The leaves have five leaflets and the margins are toothed. Produces small yellow flowers.


Spreads by seed.

The foliage of cinquefoil 
Photo: Kevin Mathias, UMD

Management in lawns

Lawn care practices

Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment.

Lawn Care

Mechanical management

Hand pulling or using an appropriate weeding tool is the primary means of mechanical weed control in lawns. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. Hand pulling when the soil is moist makes the task easier. 

Manage Weeds Without Chemicals

Chemical treatment in lawns

If you choose this option, spot treat weeds with a liquid, selective, postemergent, broadleaf weed killer applied when weeds are actively growing. Look for a product with one or more of the following active ingredients: 2, 4-D, MCPP (mecoprop), Dicamba*, or Triclopyr.

*Do not spray herbicides containing dicamba over the root zone of trees and shrubs. Roots can absorb the product possibly causing plant damage. Refer to the product label for precautions.

Lawn Herbicides for Weed Management