This section is from the book "A Manual Of Weeds", by Ada E. Georgia. Also available from Amazon: A Manual Of Weeds.
Native. Perennial. Propagates by seeds.
Time of bloom: May to September.
Seed-time: Late June to November.
Range: Nova Scotia to the Dakotas, southward to Maryland and
Kansas. Native also to Europe and Asia. Habitat: Dry soil; fields, meadows, and pastures.
The plant from which this description is written was pulled from a sidehill grass lot, on which the grass was burned brown and apparently dead from the drought -but the weed did not appear to be suffering. Root deep, hard, and woody, with branching, fibrous rootlets. Stems tufted, spreading, three inches to a foot in length, also coarse and woody, covered with woolly white hair. Leaves palmately five-foliate, usually less than an inch broad, smooth and green above but silver-white beneath with woolly hair; leaflets wedge-shaped, deeply cut, entire toward the base, with margins revolute. Flowers in cymose clusters, terminal on short pedicels, about a quarter-inch broad, the calyx white-woolly, the five rounded petals greenish yellow, slightly notched at the edge. Achenes smooth, very small, ripening and falling all summer. (Fig. 149.)
Fig. 149. - Silvery Cinquefoil (Potentilla argentea). X 1/2.
Enrich the soil, furnishing humus which will enable it to retain moisture and support the growth of better plants.