Table of Contents

Silverweed: Plant profile

Common names

Silverweed, silver weed cinquefoil, common silverweed

Botanical name

Potentilla anserina (syn Argentina anserina)

Plant family


Geographical distribution

Native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere. Very common throughout the UK and Ireland.

Where to find Silverweed

Grassland, wasteland, meadows and riverside.

When to find Silverweed

Roots in late summer and autumn. Leaves spring to autumn.



The leaves are what give rise to this plant’s name, which are a distinctive silver-green on the topside and coated of silvery grey fine hairs on the underside. This makes silverweed unique and easy to find amongst the grasses.

It’s said the leaves can be placed in shoes to absorb excess sweat because the starch content help absorbing moisture.

Culinary uses and recipes with Silverweed

All parts of silverweed are edible. The flavour of the leaves is not particularly attractive but they can be tossed into salads or made into an herbal tea. It’s the roots that are of main interest due to its starch content, though they have been long considered famine food because they are fiddly to collect, so small to use and hard to clean.

The flavour is good, crisp and nutty with a pleasant starchy flavour, similar to Jerusalem artichokes. The roots were boiled or baked and sometimes dried and ground into flour to make bread.


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Alvaro Docio

Alvaro Docio

I am the person behind British Local Food. I want to inspire you to go outdoors, familiarise with your local plants and make the best of their culinary and medicinal properties.

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2 thoughts on “Silverweed”

  1. thanks for this informative website. Researching Silverweed for an Art tutorial… I like to give little details especially foraging, during the class.

    thank you :O)


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