Endoreduplication is the process where a cell replicates its genome without mitosis and cytokinesis, often followed by cell differentiation. This alternative cell cycle results in various levels of endoploidy, reaching 4x or higher one haploid set of chromosomes. Endoreduplication is found in animals and is widespread in plants, where it plays a major role in cellular differentiation and plant development. Here, we show that variation in endoreduplication between Arabidopsis thaliana accessions Columbia-0 and Kashmir is controlled by two major quantitative trait loci, ENDO-1 and ENDO-2. A local candidate gene association analysis in a set of 87 accessions, combined with expression analysis, identified CYCD5;1 as the most likely candidate gene underlying ENDO-2, operating as a rate-determining factor of endoreduplication. In accordance, both the overexpression and silencing of CYCD5;1 were effective in changing DNA ploidy levels, confirming CYCD5;1 to be a previously undescribed quantitative trait gene underlying endoreduplication in Arabidopsis.