Potentilla anserina L. - Silverweed


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Potentilla anserina - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Rosaceae


In a variety of sandy soils near Lake Michigan. Calcareous flat marshes. Gravels bars.


On the shores of interdunal ponds with Agalinis purpurea, Gentiana crinita, Hyperisum kalmaianum, Lobelia kalmii, Parnassia glauca, Rhynchospora capillacea, Sabatia angularis, Solidago ohioensis, Triglochin maritima.


Northern tier of the eastern US and most western states and north into Canada to the arctic.


Low, creeping, herbaceous perennial. Leaves basal, densely silvery-sericeous beneath, pinnate compound; leaflets sharply toothed, principle leaflets alternating with much reduced ones. Flowers bright yellow, to 1" wide; petals 5, blunt; stamens and pistils numerous. Fruit dry, seed-like.


Flowers mid May to early October

Wetland indicator: Facultative Wetland +

Most attractive in spring when the new foliage is silvery green. The roots are edible, said to resemble parsnips or sweet potatoes in taste when boiled.




Niering, W. A. 1979. The Audubon society field guide to North American wildflowers: eastern region.
Knopf/Random House, New York.


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.


USDA, NRCS. 2002.
The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov).
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.




 Michael Hough 2005