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A common roadside and wayside flower with a silvery sheen to the underside of the leaves.


  • Silverweed: leaves you in no doubt

    Post date: Tuesday, 8 March, 2016 - 00:00

    Usually we look at the blossoming flower of a plant and decide what it is; after all quite often a flower's colour, shape, number of petals and so on are going to be unique to a particular species. Sometimes though the answer is staring at you from another part of the plant than the flower.

    This is certainly true in the case of silverweed (Potentilla anserina) which has a bright yellow, five-petalled flower that actually resembles various other flowers including buttercups and cinquefoils. Look past the flower head to the leaves and their silvery-grey sheen, especially on the underside, and the answer is obvious; it is a silver weed!

    Silverweed can be found in short grassy habitats and dry, bare patches anywhere but roadsides and waysides seem to be its stronghold and it can be a very common plant in these conditions. It flowers from May through until August and in some years on into September and beyond. 

    In folklore it was supposedly thought to ward of evil spirits and in herbal medicine it has been used as cure for digestive and gynaecological health problems. In Tibet the roots are eaten as a vegetable! Whatever next?


Common Name Silverweed
Scientific Name Potentilla anserina
Species Group Rose Family Rosaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Rose family - Rosaceae
Status very common
Flower Colour Group Yellow
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
Preferred Environment
Look for Low growing plant with a silvery appearance on the back of the leaves
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Rose Family Rosaceae