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Hoary Cinquefoil

Potentilla argentea

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Grassland, heathland, wasteland.

Yellow, 5 petals
Flowers appear in clusters. Each flower is between 10 to 12mm across in size. Many yellow stamens.
The fruit is an achene which is a type of dry, one-seeded fruit.
A sprawling perennial with palmate leaves, 3 to 5 lobed. The leaves are toothed. The leaves are dark green above and silvery beneath.
Other Names:
Silver Cinquefoil.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Potentilla argentea, also known as silver cinquefoil, is a perennial plant in the family Rosaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia, and it is found in alpine and subalpine regions. The plant has hairy leaves and white or pale yellow flowers that bloom in the summer. It grows to be about 20 cm (8 inches) tall and prefers rocky or gravelly soils. It is often used as an ornamental plant in rock gardens or as a ground cover in areas with poor soil. Potentilla argentea is also used medicinally for its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.


Hoary Cinquefoil (Potentilla argentea) is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae). This species is widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere and is commonly found in meadows, pastures, and rocky slopes.

The plant is known for its distinctive silver-grey leaves and bright yellow flowers. The flowers have five petals and are about 2 cm wide. They appear in clusters and bloom from May to September. The leaves are simple and palmately lobed with serrated margins. They are covered in fine white hairs, giving them a silvery appearance, hence the common name "Hoary" cinquefoil.

Hoary cinquefoil is a hardy plant and can grow in various soil types and climatic conditions. It is well adapted to cold climates and can tolerate temperatures as low as -40°C. The plant is also drought-resistant and can withstand long periods of dry weather.

In traditional medicine, Hoary cinquefoil was used to treat various ailments such as digestive problems, skin irritations, and wounds. The plant is rich in tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids, which are known to have medicinal properties. However, it is important to note that the plant is not recommended for internal use without the supervision of a healthcare professional.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Hoary cinquefoil is also used as a food source. The leaves and young shoots of the plant are edible and are sometimes used as a vegetable in some cultures. The plant's roots are also a source of starch.

Hoary cinquefoil is a versatile and hardy plant with a range of uses. Its distinctive silver-grey leaves and bright yellow flowers make it an attractive addition to any garden or landscape. Whether for its medicinal properties, edible parts, or ornamental value, Hoary cinquefoil is definitely a plant worth considering.

Hoary cinquefoil is also a popular choice for wildlife gardens, as it provides a valuable source of nectar and pollen for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The plant is also a food source for various species of mammals and birds.

In terms of conservation, Hoary cinquefoil is considered to be a species of least concern. It is widely distributed and abundant in many parts of the world. However, it is important to note that habitat loss and degradation can have a negative impact on the population of this plant, as well as other wildlife that rely on it for food and shelter.

When planting Hoary cinquefoil, it is important to choose a location that provides adequate sunlight and well-draining soil. The plant can be propagated from seed or through division of the root system. It is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal care and can be left to grow naturally with little to no pruning.

Hoary cinquefoil is a valuable and versatile plant that offers a range of benefits for both humans and wildlife. Whether planted for its medicinal properties, as a food source, or for its ornamental value, Hoary cinquefoil is definitely a plant worth considering for any garden or landscape.

In terms of its cultural significance, Hoary cinquefoil has a rich history and is mentioned in many folklore and traditional stories. In some cultures, the plant is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. The bright yellow flowers of the plant were also used to symbolize happiness and friendship in traditional floral arrangements.

In addition to its cultural significance, Hoary cinquefoil is also an important plant in scientific research. It is widely used as a model organism to study various aspects of plant biology such as genetic diversity, evolution, and adaptation. The plant's hardiness and ability to tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions make it an ideal subject for studies on climate change and its effects on plant populations.

Despite its many benefits, Hoary cinquefoil is not without its challenges. The plant can be invasive in some areas and can displace native plant species. It is important to plant Hoary cinquefoil in areas where it will not spread into natural habitats or disrupt existing ecosystems.

In conclusion, Hoary cinquefoil is a valuable and versatile plant that offers a range of benefits for humans, wildlife, and the environment. Whether planted for its medicinal properties, as a food source, for its ornamental value, or for its cultural significance, Hoary cinquefoil is a plant that is worth considering for any garden or landscape.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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