Eastern and middle states.
Very similar to the preceding species are the large handsome flowers of the silvery cinquefoil. The palmately divided leaves, however, are distinguished by the silver-like floss which covers their under surface. They appear to be without vanity and have lost all concern about having their fingers slender and tapering. We find them ragged and unkempt.
P. Monspeliensis, rough cinquefoil, grows in dry soil and has quite an extended range. In cultivated ground it occurs as a weed.
The generic name of these plants refers to the medical properties for which they were formerly noted. Thoreau mentions that in one of his walks he met an old wood-tortoise eating the leaves of the early potentillas, and soon afterwards another deliberately eating sorrel. They impressed him as knowing the virtues of the herbs, and being able to select the ones best suited to the condition of their bodies.