Silvery Cinquefoil

Silvery Cinquefoil
Silvery Cinquefoil. Potentilla argentea.
Rosaceae, the rose family.

Plant: Low, woolly-hairy, recumbent or ascending, often branching plant, 4"-12" tall, with palmately compound, silvery-backed leaves and loose clusters of small, bright yellow flowers with notched petals. Perennial
Flowers: Bright yellow, 1/4"-1/2" wide, with five slightly notched petals, five sharply pointed sepals shorter than or equal to the petals, along with five bractlets that look like sepals, and numerous stamens. Flowers form a loose cymose cluster.
Leaves: Alternate, palmately compound, usually with five lobes, leaflets are coarsely toothed, almost to the point of being pinnate obovate in outline, 1/2"-1" long. The backs of the leaves are densely covered with woolly hairs, giving a silvery appearance, and the margins are often in-rolled.
Fruit: A dry capsule enclosed by the sepal remnants.
Blooming: Late June - October
Habitat: Dry fields, waste areas.

Comments: An import from Europe. The common name refers to the silvery appearance of the backs of the leaves.

Where to find it: Widely scattered on the dry pond-bank areas near the lodge. Uncommon in the park in 2009.