Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Argentina anserina


Silverweed cinquefoil, Common silverweed, Silverweed, Goosefoot


Rosaceae (Rose Family)



Argentina anserina (Silverweed cinquefoil)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
A low, 6-9 in. perennial that sends up flowers and leaves on separate stalks. Solitary, 1 in., five-petaled, yellow flowers are held on slender stems above basal tufts of pinnate, silvery foliage.

This species, also occurring in Eurasia, has recently been moved from the genus Potentilla to the genus Argentina because of the solitary flower at the tip of the stalk. The Pacific Silverweed (Argentina anserina ssp. pacifica) grows along the Pacific Coast from Alaska to southern California; the runners and stalks of its leaves lack hairs or have a few hairs that lie flat. In ancient times Silverweed was grown for food and medicine. The cooked root is purported to have the flavor of parsnips or sweet potatoes. An extract from the root has also been used to tan leather. Attractive foliage; edible roots. Raw, boiled or roasted, the spring roots have been likened to parsnips, chestnuts and sweet potatoes. Medicinally, Common silverweed was used mainly as an astringent in gargles, washes and teas for reducing inflammation and stopping bleeding of the digestive tract, kidneys and skin. (Kershaw)

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Complexity: Pinnate
Leaf Shape: Obovate
Leaf: Whitish on surface
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , ID , IL , IN , IA , ME , MA , MI , MN , MT , NE , NV , NH , NJ , NM , NY , ND , OH , OR , PA , RI , SD , TN , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Transcontinental Canada, s. to coastal New England, Great Lakes, IA, western mts. & CA
Native Habitat: Wet Meadow, Prairie, Field, Riparian, Salt Water Shorelines

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist loams.
Conditions Comments: Used for erosion control. Silverweed spreads by sending runners from the parent in several directions. These develop roots at nodes to form new plants.

Benefit

Use Food: Attractive foliage; edible roots. Raw, boiled or roasted, the spring roots have been likened to parsnips, chestnuts and sweet potatoes.
Use Medicinal: Medicinally, common silverweed was used mainly as an astringent in gargles, washes and teas for reducing inflammation.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies

Last Update: 2014-08-26