Silverweed [Potentilla anserina]

Silverweed, a perennial weed, often gets overlooked due to its low-growing nature and resemblance to the creeping cinquefoil. Despite its somewhat delicate appearance, it’s an aggressive weed, especially common in neglected spaces like waste areas, roadside verges, and under-maintained grassland.

Description: Silverweed stands out with its distinctive pinnate leaves comprised of multiple leaflets, each with pronounced teeth. A distinguishing feature is the fine hairs present on the leaf undersides, which produce a characteristic silvery sheen—hence, its name. From May to August, Silverweed blooms with yellow flowers, each with five petals, adding to its deceptive beauty.

Its tenacity in spreading comes from its creeping runners or stolons. These stolons allow the weed to propagate efficiently by rooting at intervals and birthing new plants.

Habitat: Silverweed is versatile and isn’t particularly picky about its environment. It can thrive in various soil types but has a pronounced presence in neglected lawns where regular maintenance is lacking.

Control Measures:

  1. Promote Lawn Health: The first line of defense against Silverweed is to cultivate a robust lawn. Proper turfcare practices, such as adequate watering, mowing, and fertilization, can naturally deter the growth of this weed.
  2. Physical Disruption: Regular scarification or raking can hinder the spread of Silverweed. By breaking up its stolons and runners, you can effectively weaken the plant and reduce its proliferation.
  3. Chemical Control: In cases where Silverweed has taken a substantial foothold, chemical intervention might be necessary. Opt for a selective weed herbicide known to combat Silverweed effectively. Given the resilience of this weed, a follow-up application after six weeks might be necessary to ensure thorough eradication.

Safety Precautions: Whenever you’re dealing with chemicals, it’s paramount to prioritize safety. Always wear the recommended protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses. Equally essential is to thoroughly read the product label and strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines concerning health, safety, and application procedures.

Conclusion: Silverweed, with its silvery leaves and yellow blooms, might appear harmless. However, its aggressive growth pattern can quickly transform it from a quaint weed into a lawn menace. Through a combination of regular lawn care practices and timely intervention, controlling Silverweed’s spread is entirely achievable.

Oliver Thompson
Lawn Care Expert

About Oliver: Oliver Thompson, a seasoned lawn care expert from the Cotswolds with over two decades of experience, invites all enthusiasts to join him in exploring the world of lawns, sharing knowledge, and fostering a vibrant community of lawn enthusiasts. More info

Leave a Comment

Some posts may contain affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.