(Argentina anserina ssp. anserina)

Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N3N5 - Vulnerable to Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland


FACW - Facultative wetland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland


Silverweed is a 2 to 8 tall, ascending to erect, perennial forb that rises on basal leaves from a narrow, often branched taproot.

It first appears as a dense cluster (rosette) of basal leaves. Soon it produces one or more above-ground, creeping, widely spreading runners (stolons).

Basal leaves are inversely lance-shaped in outline (widest toward the tip), up to 10 long, and up to 4 wide, rarely longer and usually much smaller. They are on 1 to 10 long leaf stalks. Each leaf is pinnately divided into 5 to 31 primary leaflets which often alternate with much smaller secondary leaflets. The leaf axis (rachis) is light green and covered with long, soft, shaggy, sometimes spreading hairs.

The leaflets are oblong or inversely egg-shaped. The larger leaflets are up to 2 long and ¾ wide, sometimes larger. The lower leaflets are much smaller. The upper surface is green and may be hairless or covered with long, silky, somewhat appressed hairs. The lower surface is white. It is densely covered with short, white, matted or tangled hairs, and moderately to densely covered with long silky hairs. The margins are deeply toothed with sharp, forward pointing teeth. There are usually 5 to 8, but as many as 11 or more teeth per side.

The stolons are 12 to 36 long with leafy nodes every 4 to 6 long. Node leaves are similar to basal leave but smaller. Stolons are red and are covered with long, soft, shaggy, sometimes spreading hairs. They send down roots from the nodes which often creates new plants.

The inflorescence is a single flower rising from a stolon node on an ascending to erect, hairy, 2 to 6 long stalk (pedicel).

The flowers are to ¾ in diameter. There are 5 modified leaves (epicalyx bractlets), 5 sepals, 5 petals, 20 to 25 stamens, and 20 to 200 or more pistils. The epicalyx bractlets are green, narrowly to broadly egg-shaped to triangular, often toothed, and about the same size as the sepals. They alternate with the sepals and are hidden below the petals when the flower is viewed from above. The sepals are to long and are densely covered with whitish, silky hairs. The petals are yellow, inversely egg-shaped or oval, 3 16 to long or longer, and to wide. The petals are longer than the sepals. The stamens have yellow, 1 16 to long filaments and yellow anthers.

The fruit is a 1 16 long seed capsule (achene) with a groove on the upper (dorsal) surface.




2 to 8


Flower Color




Similar Species


Silvery cinquefoil (Potentilla argentea) leaves are palmately divided into 5 leaflets.


Moist to wet. Meadows, marshes, beaches, lakeshores, streambanks, mowed paths. Full sun. Sandy or gravelly soils.




May to September


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Rosales (roses, elms, figs, and allies)  


Rosaceae (rose)  
  Subfamily Rosoideae (brambles, roses, strawberries, and allies)  
  Tribe Potentilleae (strawberries, cinquefoils, and allies)  
  Subtribe Potentillinae (cinquefoil)  


Argentina (silverweeds)  
  Species Argentina anserina (common silverweed)  

Silverweed was previously placed within the Anserina/Pentaphylloides section of the genus Potentilla, and was named Potentilla anserina. The genus Potentilla as traditionally used includes from about 300 to over 500 species. However, the group is not evolutionarily distinct (monophyletic). The Anserina group was separated into the genus Argentina by Hill in 1756 based on a single but unique morphological feature, lateral insertion of styles. The separation was supported by Rydberg in 1908 but not widely accepted. In 2010, the separation was strengthened by the discovery of a second, unique, previously unused morphological feature, ventral stipular auricles, as well as by recent molecular phylogenetic studies by Dobeš and Paule in 2010 and Töpel et al. in 2011. The new genus Argentina contains a single species, Argentina anserina, in North America and 63 species in Asia.

The separation of Argentina remains controversial. USDA PLANTS, GBIF, World Flora Online, and Plants of the World Online recognize the genus; ITIS, GRIN, NCBI, BONAP, and Flora of North America do not.

There are four recognized subspecies of Argentina anserina, all of them occurring in North America. Only ssp. anserina occurs in Minnesota.




Potentilla anserina

Potentilla anserina ssp. anserina


Common Names


common silverweed





silverweed cinquefoil












A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.



Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



A small, often secondary bract within an inflorescence; a bract that is borne on a petiole instead of subtending it; bracteole.



A whorl of bracts, just below the calyx, resembling a secondary, outer calyx.



On plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. On insects: the second segment of the antennae. On Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen: the preferred term is petiole.



On a compound leaf, having the leaflets arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk. On a bryophyte, having branches evenly arranged on opposite sides of a stem.



The main axis of a compound leaf, appearing as an extension of the leaf stalk; the main axis of an inflorescence.



A radiating group or cluster of leaves usually on or close to the ground.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.



An above-ground, creeping stem that grows along the ground and produces roots and sometimes new plants at its nodes. A runner.

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    silverweed   silverweed  


    silverweed   silverweed  





Wez Smith

Silverweed (Argentina anserina).

  Potentilla anserina (Silverweed)
Allen Chartier
  Potentilla anserina (Silverweed)  



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Other Videos
  Common Silverweed (Argentina Anserina) - 2012-08-29

Published on Sep 3, 2012

Argentina anserina, also known as Common Silverweed, Silverweed Cinquefoil or just "silverweed", is a flowering perennial plant in the rose family Rosaceae.

Zilverschoon (Potentilla anserina) is een plant uit de rozenfamilie (Rosaceae). 52.01315 4.30070




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