English Wikipedia has an article on:


From mediaeval Latin tormentilla (minor pain), perhaps referring to the conditions that the plant was used to treat.


tormentil (countable and uncountable, plural tormentils)

  1. A low-growing herb (Potentilla erecta, syn. Potentilla tormentilla).
    • 1615, Helkiah Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, London: William Jaggard, “A Dilucidation or Exposition of the Controuersies concerning the Historie of the Infant,” Question 31, p. 340,[1]
      [] the hearbe Tormentill which hath seauen leaues resisteth all poysons.
    • 1788, John Trusler (ed.), The Habitable World Described, London, Volume 3, “Travels through Siberia and Tartary” by S. Pallas, Part 2, p. 233,[2]
      Instead of tea, they drink an infusion of the roots of the tormentil (Tormentilla erecta), which, when boiled, dyes the water reddish, gives it a very astringent taste, and is drank without milk.
    • 1917, Mary Webb, Gone to Earth, New York: Dutton, Chapter 25, p. 206,[3]
      The bracken, waist-high at first, was like small hoops at the top of the wood, where the tiny golden tormentil made a carpet and the yellow pimpernel was closing her eager eyes.
    • 1972, Richard Adams, Watership Down, London: Macmillan, Chapter 50,[4]
      The flowers were sparser. Here and there a yellow tormentil showed in the grass, a late harebell or a few shreds of purple bloom on a brown, crisping tuft of self-heal.