Silverweed - Hebrides Yellow Wildflowers
Silverweed - lovely yellow wildflowers native to The Western Isles. Silverweed is a perennial, a creeping wildflower plant that has leaves that glisten. The silvery leaves remain all year round. Silwerweed grows in many places here in The Hebrides - even in the sandy dunes.
Silverweed - Native to The Western Isles
The silverweed - native to The Western Isles, thrives in many situations - even in the sand dunes here in the Hebrides. The lovely almost buttercup like flowers start to appear from early summer and last till late Autumn. It is related to the strawberry plant and has runners like the strawberry plant.
The Latin name of Argentina (argent means "silver") came about because of its silver like appearance.
Latin Name - a Goose
The latter part of the Latin name Anserina - from Anser - a goose - probably so named as the geese liked the plant to eat.
Five Petals - Open in The Sun
Each brightly coloured yellow flower has five petals, 15 - 20mm across - borne on top of the leafless stalk. The flowers will be closed on dark days and evenings, fully open when the sun shines. Thin red creepers form new stems. The plants vary in height from a few inches to 3 feet. The yellow flowers are produced solitarily on the tips of long stalks. The silverweed trails its stems across damp, grassy places, rooting regularly. Silverweed thrives in most soils, it can be often seen in waste ground, damp ground & along roadsides
Leaves - Silver Underneath
The soft silky downy leaves are divided into lots of sharp toothed leaflets, the underneath of the leaves being more silvery than the tops. It trails its stems across grassy or sandy places where it roots very easily. The entire plant can be anything from 1ft - 3ft in length. The leaves are on opposite sides of the stalk.
Silver - White Hairs
The Silvery colour of the Silverweed leaves is actually due to the presence of fine white downy hairs. This lovely yellow wildflower belongs to the family Rosaceae.
The dried roots of silverweed were ground into a kind of flour and used in bread making
Roots - Eaten by Humans
The starchy rootstock has been eaten by humans for many eras. It tastes apparently - like parsnips, sweet potatoes and chestnuts. Until the introduction of the potato in the 1500s Silverweed was a crop plant whose turnip-like roots were part of peasants' staple diet. This has led to the folk-names "bread and butter", "bread and cheese" and "seventh bread".
Silverweed is the common name for several species of Potentilla (of the Rose family). The genus name Potentilla was given based on the powerful ("potent") healing effects attributed to the herbal medicines derived from it
Many Herbal and Medicinal Uses
The leaves were used to soothe aching feet. Silverweed was made into a tea like infusion and used to cure menstrual cramps and indigestion and if honey is added it can be used as a gargle for the easing of sore throats. The silverweed has also been used to treat mouth ulcers, toothache, jaundice and stomach problems, piles, eye inflammation and many more medicinal uses.
|Inches and cm sizes are approximate|