Page author: David Giblin
Potentilla argentea
hoary cinquefoil, silver cinquefoil

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Oregon, east across the northern U.S. and Canada to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Sandy or gravely soil, typically where disturbed.

Flowers: June-July

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Herbaceous perennial from a woody base, the numerous stems 1.5-3 dm. tall, covered with a gray pubescence.


Leaves mainly cauline, 5-10 per stem, palmately divided, the leaflets 5, 1-2 cm. long, oblanceolate, with coarse serrate teeth over half way to the mid-vein; stipules lanceolate, entire, 4-8 mm. long.


Inflorescence open, branched, many-flowered, leafy-bracteate; calyx 4-6 mm. broad, silky, the 5 lobes ovate-lanceolate, 2-3 mm. long, alternating with linear, shorter bracteoles; petals 5, yellow, obovate with a wedge-shaped base, equaling the sepals; stamens 20; pistils numerous, the styles thickened and glandular at the base, tapered upward, attached to the end of the achene.


Achene 0.6-0.8 mm. long, the same length as the style.

Accepted Name:
Potentilla argentea L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 497. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Argentina argentea (L.) Rydb.
Fragaria argentea Crantz
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Potentilla argentea in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Potentilla argentea checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Potentilla argentea atlas page.

CalPhotos: Potentilla argentea photos.

USDA Plants: Potentilla argentea information.

25 photographs:
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