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Vascular Plants of California
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Potentilla anserina subsp. anserina

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RosaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: ROSE FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree, glandular or not. Leaf: simple to palmately or pinnately compound, generally alternate; stipules free to fused (0), persistent to deciduous. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, cluster, or flowers 1; bractlets on pedicel ("pedicel bractlets") generally 0--3(many), subtended by bract or generally not. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium free or fused to ovary, saucer- to funnel-shaped, subtending bractlets ("hypanthium bractlets") 0--5, alternate sepals; sepals generally 5; petals generally 5, free; stamens (0,1)5--many, anther pollen sacs generally 2; pistils (0)1--many, simple or compound, ovary superior to inferior, styles 1--5. Fruit: 1--many per flower, achene (fleshy-coated or not), follicle, drupe, or pome with generally papery core, occasionally drupe-like with 1--5 stones. Seed: generally 1--5 (per fruit, not per flower).
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 3000 species: worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for ornament, fruit, especially Cotoneaster, Fragaria, Malus, Prunus, Pyracantha, Rosa, Rubus. Note: Number of teeth is per leaf or leaflet, not per side of leaf or leaflet, except in Drymocallis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Daniel Potter & Barbara Ertter, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Daniel Potter, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Daniel Potter, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PotentillaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to perennial herb; odor generally 0. Leaf: generally basal, odd-1-pinnately, 1-palmately, or 1-ternately compound; leaflets 1--8(13) per side, +- toothed, generally +- separated, terminal generally +- = lateral; margins generally flat. Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally +- open; pedicels generally +- straight, bractlets 0. Flower: hypanthium +- shallow, bractlets generally 5, generally < sepals, generally flat; sepals +- triangular; petals (2)4--20 mm, >= sepals, generally +- widely obcordate, generally yellow; stamens 10--25; pistils generally > 10, ovaries superior, styles slender to +- tapering, generally attached near fruit tip. Fruit: achene, generally glabrous.
Etymology: (Latin: diminutive of powerful, for reputed medicinal value) Note: Other taxa in TJM (1993) moved to Comarum, Dasiphora, Drymocallis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Barbara Ertter
Species: Potentilla anserinaView Description 

Habit: Plant tufted from stolons, nonglandular. Leaf: pinnate, petiole << blade; main leaflets 5--10 per side, +- elliptic to oblanceolate, evenly 7--31-toothed 1/2--1/3 to midvein, densely hairy at least abaxially, reduced leaflets alternating. Inflorescence: flowers 1 from stolon nodes. Flower: hypanthium 4--7 mm wide; filaments 1--3.5 mm, anthers +- 1 mm; styles +- 2 mm, slender. Fruit: +- 2 mm, rough, dark red-brown.

Potentilla anserina L. subsp. anserina
Leaf: 3--15 cm, generally densely hairy adaxially; main leaflets 10--25 mm. Inflorescence: pedicels generally 2--7 cm. Flower: petals 7--10 mm; pistils 10--50. Chromosomes: 2n=28,35,42.
Ecology: Shorelines, moist alkaline meadows; Elevation: 1200--2600 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNH, SnBr, GB; Distribution Outside California: circumboreal. Flowering Time: May--Sep
Synonyms: Potentilla anserina var. sericea Hayne
Jepson eFlora Author: Barbara Ertter
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Barbara Ertter 2012, Potentilla anserina subsp. anserina, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 14, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 14, 2024.

Potentilla anserina subsp. anserina
click for enlargement
©2015 Barry Breckling
Potentilla anserina subsp. anserina
click for enlargement
©2015 Barry Breckling
Potentilla anserina subsp. anserina
click for enlargement
©2015 Barry Breckling
Potentilla anserina subsp. anserina
click for enlargement
©2018 California Academy of Sciences
Potentilla anserina subsp. anserina
click for enlargement
©2018 California Academy of Sciences

More photos of Potentilla anserina subsp. anserina
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Potentilla anserina subsp. anserina:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).