Silverweed: leaves you in no doubt





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?
Silverweed: leaves you in no doubt

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