Dear Little Buttercup

I was SO hoping this would be a buttercup.  Not only does the family flower name Ranunculus sound like something out of a Harry Potter Herbology class, but I’m fond of the character in Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore.

In fact, I am pretty sure this is not a buttercup but is, instead, a Silver Cinquefoil (Potentilla argentea).  I could be wrong about that too.  I need to verify that this yellow flower has silver on the underside of its leaves – hence the flower name – but it certainly looks like the other pictures I’ve seen of it.  In particular, unlike the buttercups or the sorrels or any rose-like yellow flower with 5 petals, there are distinct gaps between the petals.

Silver or Silvery Cinquefoil is yellow but named after the underside of its leaves. It’s found west to Montana and east to the Atlantic.
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David Whelan
I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.

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