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(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.
REFERENCESIuzepchuk, S. V. “Rod Lapchatka—Potentilla L.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 10. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Wolf, T. Monographia der Gattung Potentilla. Stuttgart, 1908.