Potentilla anserina L.
common silverweed
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Bryan Kelly-McArthur     (Photo ID #85777)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Potentilla anserina
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a long, strawberry-like stolon or runner, rooting and producing leaf-clusters at the nodes, spreading-silky on the stolons.
All basal, tufted, 5-25 cm long, stalked, ascending, pinnately compound; 7 to 21 main leaflets 0.5-3.5 cm long, interspersed with smaller ones, oblong to egg-shaped, coarsely saw-toothed, whitish-silky-woolly on both surfaces to greenish and sparsely hairy above, the leaf-stalks spreading-silky.
Inflorescence of single flowers on long naked stalks from the leafy nodes of the stolons, the stalks 3-10 cm long; corollas yellow, bowl-shaped, the petals 5, oval to oval-oblong , 6-12 mm long; calyces silky, 5-lobed, the lobes triangular-egg-shaped, 3-6 mm long, enlarging and becoming erect in fruit, alternating with 5 shorter, often toothed bractlets; ovaries superior; stamens 20 to 25.
Achenes, numerous, plumply egg-shaped, about 2 mm long, wrinkled lengthwise.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Potentilla anserina

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
890 0 1630
Slope Gradient (%)
2 0 40

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

179 0 355
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 1 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BG(17), BWBS(2), CDF(1), CWH(7), IDF(108), MS(6), PP(21), SBPS(11), SBS(3)

Habitat and Range

Margins of streams, lakes and ponds, mudflats, and moist alkaline meadows and grasslands in the montane zone; common in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare northward; circumboreal, N to AK, E to NF and S to CA, NM, IA and NY; Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Argentina anserina (L.) Rydb.
Potentilla anserina var. groenlandica Tratt.
Potentilla egedii var. groenlandica (Tratt.) Polunin