Oct. 9, 2018

silver cinquefoil, Potentilla argentea

Apomictic; the ability to produce seeds without being fertilized. That's silver cinquefoil! It does, of course, get fertilized and produce seeds the expected way. It also develops seeds from the cells around the ovary. As that happens, successive generations are genetically identical to the previous ones. The advantage of this process is that once a individual plant finds a really good fit with a micro-habitat, it produces more plants perfectly suited for that spot. Apomixis produces generational lines that in some ways resemble individual species. Many variations and subspecies of silver cinquefoil have been named. Silver cinquefoil colonizes areas of thin or depleted soils. Native to Eurasia, it has been reported from AZ, CO, CT, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY, AB, BC, MB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK, and SPM; introduced to New Zealand. Lenawee Co MI, 5/20/12.