Botanical name: Argentina anserina
Aliases: Silverweed cinquefoil
Silverweed is a flowering, perennial plant of the rose family. It takes it name from the silvery-white colour of the leaves, particularly the underside of the leaf, caused by very fine white hairs.
It is common in a range of habitats and is seen growing on roadside verges, ditch banks, waste areas and neglected turf. It is rarely a problem in fine, managed lawns and turf. It is often found in free draining, sandy soils, especially on coastal sites.
Silverweed is a low growing weed that spreads via creeping, overground runners (stolons), which root at nodes. Once it takes hold, it spreads aggressively and when fully established can be difficult to remove by hand.
- Leaves: The leaves vary between 10-20 cm in length and are pinnate (arranged along an axis). Each leaf can contain between 7-12 pairs of main leaflets, the edges of the leaflets are sharply toothed. The leaves often have a silvery-white colour to them, more so on the underside.
- Flowers: The bright yellow flowers are similar to creeping cinquefoil and buttercups (it’s sometimes called fern buttercup) and measure between 15-25 mm across. Each flower is borne on a solitary stalk and has 5 petals, with flowering period between July and September.
Silverweed Images (click image to enlarge)
Prevention and control
Silverweed can be prevented from establishing by carrying out the correct turf care practices, that will in turn create healthy, vigorous turf. This included applying adequate nutrition, regular aeration and scarification.
Hand weeding can be effective if the weed has not established fully.
Irrigate during hot, dry periods to avoid stressing and weakening the turf.
Chemicals can be used on silverweed, but it is moderately resistant to many active ingredients, so a repeat application about 4-6 weeks following the initial application may be required.
Selective weed killers recommended for the control of silverweed
Professional products (The user requires the appropriate certificate/s to apply these products)
Headland Relay Turf (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
React Ultra (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
Everris Praxys (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, Fluosulam)
Bayer Longbow (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
Barclay Holster XL (2,4-D, Fluroxypyr, Dicamba)
Mascot Greenor (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
Mascot Junction (2,4-D, Flurosulam)
Mascot Crossbar (2,4-D, Flurosulam, Dicamba)
Vitax Esteem (2,4-D, Clopyralid, MCPA)
Products available for non-professional use (These products are available from garden centres and DIY stores)
Verdone extra (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
Resolva lawn weed killer (2,4-D, Mecoprop-p, MCPA, Dicamba)
Doff lawn spot weeder (2,4-D, Mecoprop-p, Dichlorprop-p)
Vitax Lawn Clear (2,4-D, Clopyralid, MCPA)
Vitax Green up weed & feed (Dicamba, MCPA)
Weedol lawn weed killer (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
Scotts lawn builder weed & feed (2,4-D, Dicamba)