Definitions

serrate leaf

Tormentil

[tawr-men-til]

Tormentil (Potentilla erecta) is a herbaceous perennial belonging to the rose family (Rosaceae), also known as "septifoil.

It is a low, clumb-forming plant with slender, procumbent to arcuately upright stalks, growing 10-30 cm. tall and with non-rooting runners It grows wild all over Asia and northern Europe, mostly in a wide variety of habitats, such as clearings, meadows, sandy soils and dunes.

This plant is flowering from May to August/September. There is one yellow, 7-11 mm wide flower, growing at the tip of a long stalk. There are almost always four notched petals, each with a length between 3 and 6 mm. Four petals are rather uncommon in the rose family. The petals are somewhat longer than the sepals. There are 20-25 stamens.

The glossy leaves are pinnately compound. The radical leaves have a long petiole, while the leaves on the stalks are usually sessile and have sometimes shorter petioles. Each leaf consists of three obovate leaflets with serrate leaf margins. The stipules are leaflike and palmately lobed.

The rhizomatous root is thick. A lotion prepared from the dried root has been used both as medicine to treat a number of ailments (to stop bleedings or against diarrhea), for food in times of need and to dye leather red.

There are 2-8 dry, inedible fruits.

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