Silver Cinquefoil
Potentilla argentea L.
Family: Rosaceae, Rose
Genus: Potentilla
Other names: silvery cinquefoil
Nomenclature: argentea = silvery
Nativity / Invasiveness: introduced plant
No edibility data
No medicinal data

General: perennial with a heavy woody root crown, stems numerous, 15-30 cm tall, grayish-woolly-hairy.

Leaves: mainly alternate, 5-10 per stem, leaflets usually 5, palmate, oblanceolate, 1-2 cm long, cut 1/2-3/4 to the midvein into about 5-9 lanceolate to narrowly oblong teeth, the edges rolled under lengthwise. Upper surface greenish with some silky to stiff hairs, lower surface grayish-woolly-hairy. Stipules lanceolate, entire, 4-8 mm long.

Flowers: several in an open, compound cluster, with leafy bracts at the lower nodes. Calyx flat-silky-hairy, 4-6 mm broad, the 5 sepals ovate-lanceolate, 2-3 mm long. Petals 5, yellow, obovate to wedge-shaped, rounded to slightly notched, equaling or barely exceeding the sepals. Stamens usually 20. Pistils numerous, styles thickened and glandular-warty at base, considerably tapered upward. June-July.

Fruits: achenes, 0.6-0.8 mm long, lightly net-veined, with the style on top, about the same length.


Dry, gravelly areas, sandy meadow-land, ponderosa pine forest, disturbed areas, in w. and c. parts of MT. Also in scattered localities in various parts of s. Canada, WA, ID and in e. U.S. Introduced from Europe.
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