Wild Strawberries

Fragaria vesca


Fragaria vesca, commonly called wild strawberries or woodland strawberry, is a plant that grows naturally throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Other names for this species include Alpine Strawberry, Fraises des Bois, Wild Strawberry, and European Strawberry.

The type in cultivation is usually everbearing and produces few runners.


Polyploidy

All strawberry (Fragaria) species have a base haploid count of seven chromosomes; Fragaria vesca is diploid, having two pairs of these chromosomes for a total of 14.

Flower close-up

Leaf close-up

Fruit close-up

Ecology


Typical habitat is along trails and roadsides, embankments, hillsides, stone- and gravel-laid paths and roads, meadows, young woodlands, sparse forest, woodland edges, and clearings. Often plants can be found where they do not get sufficient light to form fruit. In the southern part of its range, it can only grow in shady areas; further north it tolerates more sun. It is tolerant of a variety of moisture levels (except very wet or dry conditions).  It can survive mild fires and/or establish itself after fires .

Although F. vesca primarily propagates via runners, viable seeds are also found in soil seed banks and seem to germinate when the soil is disturbed (away from existing populations of F. vesca).

Its leaves serve as significant food source for a variety of ungulates, such as mule deer and elk, and the fruit are eaten by a variety of mammals and birds that also help to distribute the seeds in their droppings.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. vesca
Binomial name
Fragaria vesca
L.

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