Ontario Weeds: Silvery cinquefoil

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Leaves
  7. Flowers and Fruit
  8. Habitat
  9. Similar Species
  10. Related Links

Name: Silvery cinquefoil, Potentilla argentea L.,

Other Names: potentille argentée

Family: Rose Family (Rosaceae)

General Description: Perennial, reproducing only by seed.

Photos and Pictures

Silvery cinquefoil.

Silvery cinquefoil.
Silvery cinquefoil.

Stems & Roots: 10-50cm (4-20in.) long, 1 to several from each stout perennial crown, erect or spreading or nearly prostrate;

Leaves: Early leaves in a dense basal rosette; basal and stem leaves long-stalked, palmately compound with 3 or usually 5 to 7 leaflets which are dark green on the upper surface and silvery-gray on the undersurface (leaflets arranged like fingers from the palm of a hand) each leaflet shallowly and coarsely toothed to very deeply lobed; each leafstalk or stalkless upper leaf with 2 slender, pointed stipules at its junction with the stem.

Flowers & Fruit: Yellow, small (6-10mm, ¼-2/5in. across), in branching clusters at ends of branches; petals about the same length as sepals; and many stamens and pistils. Flowers from late May until autumn.

Habitat: Silvery cinquefoil occurs throughout Ontario, usually on coarse-textured, well-drained soils in open fields, pastures, waste areas, roadsides, and occasionally in lawns.

Similar Species: It is distinguished by its palmately compound leaves leaflets arranged like fingers from the palm of a hand, with coarsely toothed or lobed leaflets which are green on the upper surface but silvery-gray on the undersurface, and its small yellow flowers with petals and sepals of equal length.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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