Silverweed, Silver-leaved cinquefoil, or Silverleaf Potentilla is a perennial plant that is edible and has a multitude of health benefits. It grows mainly in dry, poor soils, and is commonly found on lawns, next to sidewalks or roadways.
This plant is a member of the rose family and grows in many countries. There were changes to botanical names therefore silverweed can be properly identified by either of its Latin names (Potentilla or Argentina anserina).
Interestingly, when a person has excessively sweaty feet, placing a leaf or two in each shoe is a natural way to help absorb moisture (due to the starch content). Using the leaves in this fashion can help prevent blisters. So if you are susceptible to getting blisters while out hiking, keep an eye out for these plants and place them on the skin where you typically get the sores. Silverweed is also an analgesic, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic and a tonic.
Like other flowers in the Potentilla family, note the 5 petaled flowers. The leaf and plant shape can very but a key distinguishing feature are the short, shiny white, tomentums (hairs), which cover the undersides of the leaves, giving them a silvery appearance.
All parts of the silverweed are edible and are a good source of flavonoids. Leaves can be made into an herbal tea or tossed into a salad, stew or a stir fry. The roots (best collected in autumn) can be used raw or cooked. Some people have dried the root and powdered it to use in a variety of culinary dishes as it is a natural use for added starch. It is said to have a pleasant nutty taste.