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

Potentilla argentea L.
silvery cinquefoil (silver cinquefoil)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20844)

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Distribution of Potentilla argentea
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a heavy woody stem-base; stems several, tufted, spreading to erect, 10-50 cm tall, very leafy, freely branched, white-woolly.
Basal leaves few, stalked, palmately compound; leaflets mostly 5, lanceolate, 1-2.5 cm long, deeply toothed to cleft above the middle into narrow teeth with rolled-under margins, greenish and silky-hairy on the upper surface, white-woolly beneath; stem leaves alternate, 5 to 10, similar but short-stalked to unstalked.
Inflorescence an open leafy terminal cluster of many stalked flowers; corollas yellow, bowl-shaped, the petals 5, egg-shaped, 2-4 mm long; calyces silky-hairy, 5-lobed, the lobes lance-egg-shaped, about as long as the petals, alternating with 5 narrower bractlets; ovaries superior, the styles thickened and glandular-warty at the base; stamens about 20.
Achenes, numerous, clustered, lopsided-egg-shaped, about 0.7 mm long, smooth or faintly net-veined. vol_7

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry open ground and waste places in the lowland, steppe and lower montane zones; locally frequent in S BC, especially east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Potentilla argentea

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) 0 923 1930
Slope Gradient (%) 0 30 230
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 208 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(2), BWBS(4), CWH(1), ESSF(10), ICH(13), IDF(33), MS(6), PP(8), SBPS(2), SBS(19)


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