Silverweed (Potentilla anserina)

Edible and medicinal perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.  Easy to grow – spreads quickly with runners – can become invasive if left unchecked.

Root can be eaten raw or cooked. It can also be dried and ground into a powder then used in soups etc or mixed with cereals. The young shoots are also edible raw. A tea is made from the leaves.

Medicinally, used for its astringency.   An infusion of the leaves makes an excellent skin cleansing lotion.  Externally, it is used as a powder to treat ulcers and haemorrhoids whilst the whole bruised plant, placed over a painful area, will act as a local analgesic. 

The roots are harvested in late summer or autumn and dried for later use.  The leaves are harvested in early summer and can be dried for later use.

Also a dynamic accumulator gathering minerals or nutrients from the soil and storing them in a more bioavailable form – can be used as a fertiliser or mulch.