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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Argentina anserina (L.) Rydb.
Silverweed cinquefoil, Common silverweed, Silverweed
Synonym(s): Argentina anserina var. concolor, Argentina argentea, Potentilla anserina, Potentilla anserina ssp. anserina, Potentilla anserina var. concolor, Potentilla anserina var. sericea, Potentilla anserina var. yukonensis, Potentilla egedii ssp. yukonensis, Potentilla yukonensis
USDA Symbol: ARAN7
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)
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Root Type: Tap Leaf Complexity: Pinnate Leaf Shape: Obovate Leaf:
Whitish on surface Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WY Canada: NB
, 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 ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse 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
The plant is so easily reproduced by stolons that it is not worth the trouble to grow from seed. Use stolon internode
cuttings or separate rooted plantlets from parent plants in spring or summer. Seed Collection:
Not Available Commercially Avail:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2013-12-14
Research By: TWC Staff