Wild strawberry

Wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca)
Sometimes difficult to spot, Wild Strawberry is a native tiny fruit, which is a different species to those we see in the shop. It often grows on woodland clearings and grassland, spreading quickly and low to the ground thanks to its long rooting runners.

Table of Contents

Wild strawberry: Plant profile

Common names

Wild Strawberry, Alpine Strawberry, Woodland Strawberry, Fraise des Bois, Smultron, Sú Talún Fiáin

Botanical name

Fragaria vesca

Plant family

Rosaceae (Rose)

Distribution

Most of Europe, temperate Asia and North America. Very common throughout Britain and Ireland.

Where to find Wild Strawberries

Woodland clearings, grassy places, hedge banks, hillsides and scrubland.

When to find Wild Strawberries

Leaves early to mid-spring and fruit late spring to early summer.

How to identify Wild Strawberry

Wild Strawberry is a low herbaceous perennial. The flower stem is green to red and is hairy. The leaves are composed of three leaflets with serrated edges and pale undersides. The flowers have five petals and are white in colour, with a golden centre. The fruits are small and heart-shaped, red in colour and with tiny seeds on the outside.

Wild Strawberry lookalikes

Wild strawberry can be mistaken for Barren Strawberry (Potentilla sterilis), but that species do not bear visible fruit.

In the odd ocassion, the similar Mock Strawberry or Indian Strawberry (Potentilla indica) can be found planted in gardens. It’s also edible but tasteless.

Wild strawberry in flower (Fragaria vesca)

All about Wild Strawberry

The Wild Strawberry plants we see in the woodlands are not escapees, but native plants completely different to the domestic varieties we plant in our gardens.

Unwary foragers often miss the chance to pick these beautiful little gems, as they are often well camouflaged under the leaves. Mind you, their diminutive size would never lead one to suspect the flavoursome nature of the wild strawberry, much sweeter than its larger counterpart.

Culinary uses and recipes with Wild Strawberries

It’s incredible how these little berries can pack so much flavour, making up for in taste what they lack in size. Unfortunately, it really takes dedicated picking to collect many wild strawberries, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Wild Strawberries have an extremely sweet flavour and a hint of vanilla. The fruit is best eaten fresh on its own and can be served with Greek yoghourt, cream or ice cream. Preserve into jams, jellies and syrups or use in muesli and granola mixes.

Medicinal properties of Wild Strawberries

The fruit is rich in sugars and vitamins B, C and E. The young leaves are mildly astringent, diuretic, laxative and tonic and so they can be used in herbal teas for diarrhoea, digestive upsets and urinary complaints.

Wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca)

Safe foraging of Wild Strawberry

No hazards known.

Ecological importance of Wild Strawberry

The fruits are eaten by insect larvae and small mammals.

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Alvaro Docio

Alvaro Docio

I am the person behind British Local Food. As a forager and wild food educator, my aim is to inspire you to go outdoors, familiarise with your local plants and make the best of their culinary and medicinal properties, in the hope you'd pass on any knowledge gained down to the next generation.

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3 thoughts on “Wild strawberry”

  1. Mash them into creme fraiche with a bit of sugar and lemon juice for an instant delicious desert. We have hundreds of plants in our garden and its always a race to beat the blackbirds to them – worth it when you manage it though!

    Reply
  2. Do you have any fresh wild strawberry for sale or what is the time to buy them please ?
    Do you have any fresh,wild garlic aswell

    Reply

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