Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Potentilla anserina
silverweed cinquefoil, common silverweed

Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, Great Lakes region, and northeastern North America.

Habitat: Wet, alkaline areas from coast to arid inlands.

Flowers: April-October

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Grayish, silky-woolly perennial, widely spreading by long, prostrate, freely-rooting stolons; stipules prominent, those of the stolons sheathing and deeply linear-lobed.


Leaf blades whitish silky-woolly on both surfaces or greenish above, 1-3 dm. long, pinnate; leaflets 15-25, obovate to oblong, rounded, sharply and coarsely serrate, 1-3.5 cm. long, interspersed with much smaller, entire leaflets.


Flowers solitary on the nodes of the stolons on peduncles 3-10 cm. long; calyx silky, shallowly bowl-shaped, the 5 lobes ovate-triangular, 4-6 mm. long, spreading at blooming but erect an up to 12 mm. long in fruit; petals yellow, oval, 8-12 mm. long, rounded; stamens 20-25; pistils numerous; style slender, smooth, mid-laterally attached to the ovary.


Achenes light brow, obliquely ovoid, 2 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Potentilla anserina L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 495. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Argentina anserina (L.) Rydb.
Fragaria anserina Crantz
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Potentilla anserina in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Potentilla anserina checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Potentilla anserina information.

E-Flora BC: Potentilla anserina atlas page.

CalPhotos: Potentilla anserina photos.

USDA Plants: Potentilla anserina information.

51 photographs:
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