Fragaria virginiana Duchesne
Common strawberry, Virginia strawberry, wild strawberry, strawberry
This strawberry is native to North America. Often called the wild strawberry, its preferred common name is Virginia strawberry, since there is another common wild strawberry called the woodland strawberry.
Identification: Virginia strawberries remain close to the ground, spreading via their root systems. Leaf stalks up to 6" (15 cm) long bear groups of three leaves. Each leaf is oval in shape, with a serrated edge, about ¾-1½" (1.9-3.8 cm) long. Flowers are white with a yellow center, about ½" (1.3 cm) in diameter, with five petals. Strawberries are about ½" (1.3 cm) in diameter.
Common strawberries are similar to wild strawberries, and look a little like distantly related mock strawberries and barren strawberries. If the flowers are light pink or hot pink, you probably have a cultivated variety.
Fragaria ‘Red Ruby’
|Plant||Plants are 2-5" (5-12 cm) high.||About 5" (12 cm) high and 12-24" (30-60 cm) around.||Plants are low-growing, typically 3-6" (7.6-15 cm) tall.|
|Flowers||Flowers are yellow, with five petals, about ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) in diameter. They flower from April to August.||Deep pink, about ¼-¾" (8.3-19 mm) in diameter, with five petals.||Flowers are white, about ½" (1.5 cm) across.|
|Leaves||Leaves are in groups of three, dark green, heavily veined beneath, with rounded teeth. They are oval to elliptic, ¾-3" (1.9-7.6 cm) × ¼-1½" (8.5-38 mm), and hairy.||Dark green, in groups of three, glossy.||Leaves occur in groups of three; each leaflet is ½-2½" (1.5-6.3 cm) long.|
|Fruit||Red berries are ¼-½" (6.3-12 mm) in diameter, more spherical than strawberry-like in shape. The seedlike achenes on the berry are prominently raised, making the fruit resemble a tiny land mine.||Occasionally produces fruit.||Up to ⅜" (1 cm) across. Red or white in color.|
USDA Zones: 5-8
|Habitats||Sun to light shade; well-drained soil|
USDA Zones: 5-9
Edibility: Every strawberry has exactly the same amount of “strawberry essence,” whether it is a quarter inch around like these wild berries, or it is one of those bulbous giant cultivated berries. So if you want to experience true strawberry perfection, try these little wild berries. They’re unbelievable!
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site
Montana Plant Life
The University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium
The Island Creek Elementary School's Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource
Fragaria virginiana description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 11 Jul 2023.