Indian strawberry (Duchesnea indica)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMON NAMES:

mock strawberry

Gurbir

Indian strawberry

false strawberry


SCIENTIFIC SYNONYMS:

Fragaria indica Andrews

Potentilla indica (Andrews) Th. Wolf


CONFIRMATION STATUS: Pending confirmation.


TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name for Indian

strawberry is Duchesnea indica (Andrews) Focke.


NATIVE STATUS: Introduced, United States and Canada.


GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

 

Habit: Indian Strawberry is a prostrate, creeping plant which produces

roots at the leaf nodes.

 

Leaves: Indian strawberry has alternate leaflets; first few leaves are sim-

ple, rest are trifoliates. Leaflets are toothed with dense hair on upper sur-

face and with long, hairy petioles with leaf-like stipules (basal append-

ages). The leaflets margins have roundish teeth. The leaflet is oval/egg-shaped/elliptical, 1/2" - 2" wide, and have pinnaate leaf venation.

 

Flowers:  Single flowers with five yellow petals are borne on long stalks

from the leaf axils. The yellow blossoms rise 1 to 4 inches above the stem.

 

Fruit/SeedsThe fruit is red and fleshy and similar in appearance to the commercial strawberry though smaller and tasteless. The seeds are red and

cover the fruit.

 

Roots: Indian strawberry has fibrous roots, with spreading by hairy stolons (runners).


REGENERATION PROCESS: Indian strawberry propogates itself by

reseeding and vegetative spread.

 

HABITAT TYPES: Indian strawberry occurs in semi-shaded areas of

lawns primarily, where it can adapt to a regimen of regular mowing be-

cause of its low-growing habit. This species was introduced from southern

Asia as an ornamental plant.

SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Indian strawberry prefers partial sunlight,

fertile soil, and moist to mesic conditions. In open semi-shaded situations,

it can spread aggressively to form a ground cover.


SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: The blooming period occurs from late

spring to mid-summer and lasts about a month.


GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Indian strawberry occurs throughout the

entire eastern portion of the United States, from Florida to New York (it

does not extend into New England states. It occurs westward as far as

Texas and intermittently north. It does not naturally occur in the upper

Plains states, southwest or Rocky Mountain states. It does reappear in the

far western states and provinces (California to British Columbia).


SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION: To be determined.


IMPORTANCE AND USES: The flowers attract small bees and flower

flies. Birds probably eat the drupes and spread them around, although the

drupes of Indian strawberry appear to be less attractive to native birds than

those of Fragaria virginica (wild strawberry). Rabbits probably eat the

foliage of this species. The drupes are unsuitable for human consumption.
 

 

 

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