Perennial, rarely annual or biennial herbs or small shrubs (not in Victoria), prostrate or erect. Leaves in basal rosettes, or cauline, or both, compound, palmate or pinnate; leaflets toothed to dissected; stipules fused to and lateral to petiole with auricles that do not meet at their bases. Inflorescence a cyme or flowers solitary. Hypanthium shallow, weakly concave; epicalyx lobes 5, similar to and alternating with the 5 sepals; petals usually 5; stamens 10–30; ovary superior, carpels 10–80, ovules 1 per carpel, styles surrounded by hypanthium rim. Fruit a head of 4–many achenes on surface of dry or spongy hypanthium.
About 240 species, mainly in northern temperate and arctic regions but extending to alpine and southern temperate regions; 9 species naturalised and one regarded as native native in Australia (Bean 2015).
Bean, A.R. (2015). Notes on Potentilla (Rosaceae) and related genera in Australia., Muelleria 33: 75-83.