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Sharply toothed leaves, flowers have 5 yellow petals. (sometimes white, pink or red) Young shoots and leaves good in salads. Very astringent (constricts, shrinks membranes)- used in many anti-wrinkle skin products. Antiseptic, used for gum disease, dysentery, diarrhea, mouthwash. Good for skin. Leaves used to make lotion (or just rub strong tea on rashes etc) Powdered root stops bleeding. Has fruit that looks like strawberry but is dry and tasteless.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(cinquefoil), a genus of plants of the family Rosaceae. They are perennial (rarely biennial or annual) herbs, subshrubs, and dwarf subshrubs. The leaves are digitate, pinnate, or ternate. The flowers are solitary or in inflorescences and generally yellow. The perianth is usually four- or five-parted, and the fruit is a multiple nut. There are more than 300 species (according to other data, 500), distributed throughout the world but found primarily in North America. More than 170 species grow in the USSR. Silverweed (Potentilla anserina) is a medicinal plant; it is also valuable for its nectar and as feed for domestic fowl. Common tormentil (P. erecta) is found in the European USSR, the Caucasus, and Western Siberia. Cinquefoil rhizomes contain tannins, resin, gum, and pigment. A decoction from these plants is used internally for diarrhea and as a gargle for stomatitis, gingivitis, and tonsilitis (primarily in folk medicine). P. atrosanguinea, golden cinquefoil (P. aurea), white cinquefoil (P. alba), and many other species of Potentilla are cultivated as ornamentals. The genus Dasiphora is often included in this genus.


Iuzepchuk, S. V. “Rod Lapchatka—Potentilla L.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 10. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Wolf, T. Monographia der Gattung Potentilla. Stuttgart, 1908.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.