It is mainly found in moist soils (wet meadows, piers, sandy beaches) of Asia, Europe, and North America. Silverweed is the only plant in the Potentilla genus with pinnate compound leaves and individual flowers on separate stems.
Typically, it grows to 12 inches tall and spreads from strawberry-shaped white-haired runners that crawl along the ground and root in nodes to form new plants.
Solitary flowers with 5 bright yellow petals (up to 1 inch wide), each with 20 to 25 short yellow stamens in the center, individually bloom from June to August on leafless stems extending 1 to 4 inches from the node of a runner.
Basal clusters of silky, pinnate, silver, and feathery leaves (each leaf is 4 to 8 inches long and has 9 to 31 leaflets) appear in basal rosettes. The deeply serrated, lanceolate to oblong leaflets (each up to 2 inches long) are green on top but silky and silvery on the underside.