An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press




SILVERWEED CINQUEFOIL-Potentilla anserina L.

DESCRIPTION-A low silvery tufted perennial, 1/4 to 1 foot high, reproducing by seeds and by wiry jointed runners. The leaves, 2 to 10 inches long, are divided into 5 to 11 pairs of large leaflets with smaller ones in between, the edges all coarsely toothed. These may be densely silky, hairy on both surfaces, or often green and nearly hairless above.

There are 5 conspicuous bright yellow petals which fall off quickly, and many stamens. The thick reddish eggshaped achenes are somewhat grooved, about 1/12 inch long, and borne in the outer green cuplike flower parts.

DISTRIBUTION-Silverweed cinquefoil, an Eurasian introduction, is primarily a range weed on denuded or thinly vegetated moist cool ground. It replaces the grasses on overgrazed wet mountain meadows, and often is abundant in certain areas. Found in yellow pine, spruce-fir, and sometimes pinyon-juniper ranges, in Apache, Greenlee, Navajo, and Coconino counties; 5,600 to 9,500 feet elevation; flowering May to August. The roots are sweetish and edible either raw or cooked.

ROUGH CINQUEFOIL, barren strawberry, tall five finger, strawberry weed -Potentilla norvegica L.

DESCRIPTION-An annual or biennial 1/2 to 3 feet high which reproduces only by seeds. Although closely related to silverweed cinquefoil, it is quite different in appearance since it is a nearly erect green plant. The stems are weak and spreading at the top, but do not fall to the ground.

The leaves are rough hairy and green on both surfaces, never silvery silky. Also the leaves are divided into 3 or 5 leaflets, not in pairs, but arising from a common point as in strawberry leaves. The petals are much smaller, and the light brown achenes, with curved branched ridges on the surface, are only 1/25 inch long.

DISTRIBUTION-Introduced from Europe, rough cinquefoil has the same general distribution, habitat, and flowering period as silverweed cinquefoil. It is much more common and aggressive, however, competing favorably with other weeds in the densely weedy patches of mountain meadows, pastures, fields, and roadsides.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents

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