E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Potentilla elegans Cham. & Schltdl.
elegant cinquefoil (silverweed)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Alfred Cook  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #8737)

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Distribution of Potentilla elegans
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Species Information

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Dwarf perennial herb from a much-branched stem-base covered with reddish-brown remains of leaf-bases; stems tufted, ascending to erect, 1.5-4 cm tall.
All basal, numerous, long-stalked, palmately compound, 1-2 cm long; leaflets 3, broadly egg-shaped, 2-8 mm long, deeply cleft to about the middle into linear-oblong segments except toward the base, green on both surfaces, sparsely short-hairy and glandular to nearly smooth.
Inflorescence of single stalked flowers, barely overtopping the leaves; corollas pale yellow, saucer-shaped, the petals 5, heart-shaped, 2-4 mm long, notched at the tip; calyces often soft-hairy and fine-glandular, 5-lobed, the lobes lance-oblong, 2-2.5 mm long, somewhat purplish, alternating with 5 shorter, oblong bractlets; ovaries superior; stamens 20.
Achenes, several, clustered, lopsided-egg-shaped, 1-1.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry rocky slopes and crevices in the alpine zone; rare in N BC, known only from the Cassiar area and the Horseranch Range; amphiberingian, N to AK and NT; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References