This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial herbs, with slender stolons, interruptedly pinnate leaves, the flowers solitary, axillary, peduncled. Calyx-tube short and broad. Bractlets, sepals and petals 5, or often more. Petals yellow, not clawed. Stamens 20-25, borne around the base of the hemispheric receptacle; filaments filiform. Pistils numerous on the receptacle; style lateral, filiform. Achenes with thick pericarp. Seeds ascending, amphitropous. [Latin, referring to the silvery white pubescence of the under side of the leaves.]
About 8 species, natives of the north temperate and subarctic zones. Besides the following, 4 others occur in western North America. Type species: Argentina vulgaris Lam.
Potentilla Anserina L. Sp. Pl. 495. 1753.
Argentina vulgaris Lam. Fl. Franc. 3: 119. 1778.
A. Dabcockiana Rydb. N. Am. Fl.22: 354. 1908.
A. litoralis Rydb. loc. cit. 1908.
Herbaceous, tufted, spreading by slender runners 1° - 3° long. Stipules membranous; leaves petioled, pinnate, 3' - 18' long; leaflets 7 - 25, oblong, oblanceolate or obovate, obtuse, the lower generally smaller, often with still smaller ones interspersed, all sharply serrate, nearly glabrous above, white or silky-pubescent beneath; peduncles axillary, solitary, slender, erect, 1-flowered, about equalling the leaves; flower yellow, 8"-12" broad; petals broadly oval or obovate, entire or emarginate, exceeding the ovate acute calyx-lobes and oval bractlets; stamens about 20; style filiform, lateral; receptacle villous; achenes grooved or grooveless.
On shores and salt meadows, New Jersey to Greenland, west to Nebraska, British Columbia and Alaska, south in the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico and to California. Also in Europe and Asia. Argentina. Silver-feather. Dog's-tansy. Goose-grass. May-Sept. Consists of several or numerous races, differing in size, in shape of the leaflets, and slightly in the achenes; small northern plants have been referred to A. Egedii of Greenland.