The berry of the Wild
Strawberry plant Fragaria vesca
During the late summer the attractive and tasty berries of this small perennial*
plant can be seen in Britain along dry grassy hedgerows and banks. A member of the
rose family, Wild Strawberry grows up to 30cm in height and has long 'runners' which grow
outwards from the parent plant and can send down roots to form new plants. Its
leaves are formed by 3 oval leaflets, each with hairy undersides. Between April and
July the plant produces small white flowers 13-18mm in diameter and with 5 petals.
The bright red berries which form and ripen in late summer are small at around
8-10mm. There are many seeds situated on the outside of each berry. They
appear in the pictures above as small shiny ovals. The Wild Strawberry relies on
animals to distribute its seeds to new locations. For example, birds will eat the
juicy strawberries and fly to a different location before passing the indigestible seeds
in their droppings.
The caterpillars of several species of moth feed on Wild Strawberry
including Yellow Shell Camptogramma bilineata, Beautiful Carpet Mesoleuca
albicillata and Dark Marbled Carpet Chloroclysta citrata.
In France, Wild Strawberries are considered a delicacy and are eaten with
*perennial - lives for many years