Potentilla anserina is a perennial herb, colonial by runners, most parts silvery-hairy, at first a tuft or rosette of leaves, producing finely hairy prostrate stems (stolons) that root and form other leafy rosettes.
Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, to 30 cm long, oblong to widest above middle, leaflets to 4 cm long, oblong or often widest above middle, wooly-hair below, shiny green above, margins sharply toothed numerous, large leaflets alternating with much smaller ones.
Flowers yellow, regular (radially symmetrical) to 2.5 cm wide, solitary on slender stalks from nodes of stolons, sometimes from the parent plant also; pollinated by insects, self incompatible (Miyanishi et al. 1991).
Fruit dry, a small head of achenes, achene 0.32 cm.
Wetland status: OBL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Sandy or gravelly shores in wet to moist habitats, apparently tolerant of shade, soil pH 7-8 (USDA, NRCS 2006).
Notes: Roots edible. Infected by a few fungi that cause leaf spot (Miyanishi et al. 1991).