• Fragaria virginiana - Virginia strawberry


    "Fragaria virginiana, commonly called wild strawberry, is a ground-hugging herbaceous perennial that typically grows to 4-7” tall but spreads indefinitely by runners (stolons) which root to form new plants as they sprawl along the ground, often forming large colonies over time. It is native to woodland openings, meadows, prairies, limestone glades and cleared areas including roadsides from Newfoundland to Alberta south to Georgia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. Each trifoliate leaf has three coarsely toothed leaflets (each leaflet to 2 1/2” long), with each leaf appearing on a slender stalk (to 6” long). Five-petaled white flowers (to 3/4” across) with numerous yellow-anthered center stamens bloom in April-May in flat umbel-like clusters (4-6 flowers each) located separate from and below the leaves on stalks that do not exceed the length of the leaf stalk. Flowers give way to achene-dotted ovoid fruits (strawberries) which mature to red in a much smaller size (to 1/2” and across) than fruits produced by cultivated strawberry plants. Seeds are embedded in the pits of the strawberries. Wild strawberries have a sweet tart flavor. Botanically, the achenes are the true fruits and the red strawberries are actually false fruits (enlarged flower receptacles)." (Missouri Botanical Garden)

    Fragaria Virginiana Botany by Dr. John Hilty

    Rose family (Rosaceae)


    "The preference is full or partial sun, moist to dry-mesic conditions, and fertile soil containing loam or clay-loam. Wild Strawberry is a cool-season plant that grows actively during the spring and fall, but it often becomes dormant after setting fruit during the hot summer months. This plant is easy to cultivate, and it will spread to form a loose ground cover in open areas. The foliage is more resistant to foliar disease than most cultivated strawberries. While flowers are produced reliably every spring where there is adequate sunlight, the fruits may or may not develop, depending on the weather and environmental conditions. Watering plants during dry spells in late spring and early summer probably encourages fruits to develop. These fruits are much smaller in size than those of cultivated strawberries." (Hilty)

    Faunal Associations: 

    "The ecological value of Wild Strawberry to various insects, birds, and animals is high. The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract little carpenter bees (Ceratina spp.), cuckoo bees (Nomada spp.), mason bees (Osmia spp.), Halictid bees (including green metallic bees), Halictid cuckoo bees (Sphecodes spp.), Andrenid bees, Syrphid flies, thick-headed flies (Conopidae), Tachinid flies, bottle flies (Lucilia spp.), flesh flies (Sarcophagidae), small butterflies, and skippers (see Robertson, 1929, & others). These floral visitors are beneficial because they cross-pollinate the flowers. Other insects feed destructively on the foliage and other parts of Wild Strawberry. Caterpillars of the Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus centaurae wyandot) feed on this plant. Other insect feeders include larvae of such moths as the Strawberry Crown Borer (Synanthedon bibionipennis), Strawberry Leafroller Moth (Ancylis comptana fragariae), and Wild Strawberry Seed Borer (Grapholita angleseana). The Moth Table has a more complete list of moth species that feed on this plant. (Hilty)"


    1. By Walter Siegmund (talk) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19841939
    2. "Wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)" by GlacierNPS is licensed under Public Domain
    3. "Fragaria virginiana WILD STRAWBERRY" by gmayfield10 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    Missouri Botanical Garden plant description: Fragaria Virginiana - Plant Finder. Missouri Botanical Garden, https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=291715. Accessed 2 Feb. 2022.

    John Hilty botany, cultivation, faunal associations: John Hilty, "Wild Strawberry", Illinois Wildflowers, the publisher, Copyright 2004-2019. Accessed 2 February 2022

    Botanical Illustrations: "Illustration Fragaria vescao" by Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, GermanyPublic Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9172

    Information and images compiled by Erik N.Vegeto

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