Fragaria vesca L.

woodland strawberry

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Woodland strawberry consists of a native subspecies (Fragaria vesca ssp. americana) and a non-native subspecies (F. vesca ssp. vesca). The powdered leaves were used as a disinfectant by Native Americans, and the fruits may be eaten fresh or dried.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), cliffs, balds, or ledges, forests, meadows and fields, ridges or ledges, woodlands

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Flower petal color
white
Leaf type
the leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower symmetry
there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Number of sepals, petals or tepals
there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Fusion of sepals and petals
both the petals and sepals are separate and not fused
Stamen number
13 or more
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is fleshy
Fruit length
Up to 1.5 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Bulbils
    the plant does not appear to have bulbils
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
  • Flowers
    Anther opening
    the anthers have narrow slits or furrows that run lengthwise along the anthers
    Anther spurs
    the anthers do not have spurs on them
    Calyx symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the calyx (the calyx is radially symmetrical)
    Carpels fused
    the carpel is solitary or (if 2 or more) the carpels are not fused to one another
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corolla morphology
    NA
    Corolla palate
    no
    Corona lobe length
    0 mm
    Epicalyx
    the flower has an epicalyx
    Epicalyx number of parts
    5
    Filament surface
    the filament is smooth, with no hairs or scales
    Flower description
    the flower has a superior ovary and a hypanthium
    Flower diameter
    Up to 15 mm
    Flower number
    2–5
    Flower petal color
    white
    Flower reproductive parts
    the flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Flowers sunken into stem
    no
    Fused stamen clusters
    NA
    Fusion of sepals and petals
    both the petals and sepals are separate and not fused
    Hairs on flower stalk
    the flower stalk has hairs on it
    Hairs on inflorescence
    the axis of the inflorescence has hairs entirely without glands
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower has a hypanthium
    Inflorescence one-sided
    the flowers are arrayed in a spiral around the inflorescence axis or branches, or occur singly, or in several ranks
    Inner tepals (Rumex)
    NA
    Interior flower disk
    the flower has an interior disc
    Length of flower stalk
    10–30 mm
    Length of peduncle
    50–300 mm
    Marks on petals
    there are no noticeable marks on the petals
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of branches in umbel
    0
    Number of sepals, petals or tepals
    there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    Number of styles
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal and sepal colors
    white
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal base
    the petal narrows abruptly at the base
    Petal folding in bud
    the petals in bud are arranged in a cycle with edges overlapping like roof shingles (imbricate)
    Petal folds or pleats
    the petals of the flower do not have folds or plaits
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal length
    4–7 mm
    Petal length relative to sepals
    the petals are longer than the sepals
    Petal number
    5
    Petal shape
    the petal outline is obovate (roughly egg-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Raceme attachment (Veronica)
    NA
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers have both carpels and stamens (synoecious)
    Scales inside corolla
    no
    Sepal and petal color
    the sepals are different from the petals
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals are green or brown, and leaf-like in texture
    Sepal appendages
    the sepals do not have appendages on them
    Sepal appendages (Oenothera)
    NA
    Sepal color
    green to brown
    Sepal length
    4–8 mm
    Sepal number
    5
    Sepal orientation
    the sepals are curved outwards and downwards from the corolla
    Sepal shape
    • the sepal outline is lanceolate (lance-shaped; narrow, gradually tapering from the base to the tip)
    • the sepal outline is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are fused to each other (not other flower parts), at least near their bases
    Stamen attachment
    the stamens are attached at or near the bases of the petals or tepals
    Stamen lengths differ
    the stamens are didynamous (two long stamens and two short ones)
    Stamen morphology
    the stamens within a cycle differ in length or width
    Stamen number
    13 or more
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not attached to one another
    Staminodes
    there are no staminodes on the flower
    Style petal-like
    the styles are not petal-like
    Umbel flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Upper lip of bilabiate corolla
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Achene type
    NA
    Berry color
    • NA
    • red
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Capsule ribs
    NA
    Capsule splitting
    NA
    Carpel beak length
    0 mm
    Fruit (pyxis) dehiscence
    NA
    Fruit beak length
    0 mm
    Fruit features (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Fruit length
    Up to 1.5 mm
    Fruit locules
    one
    Fruit shape
    the fruit is ovoid (egg-shaped)
    Fruit stalk orientation
    the fruits curve or droop downwards
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is fleshy
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is an achene (dry, usually one-seeded, does not separate or split open at maturity)
    Legumes (Fabaceae)
    NA
    Mericarp length
    0 mm
    Mericarp segment shape (Desmodium)
    NA
    Other markings on berry
    the ripe berries are mostly one color without spots or streaks
    Rows of seeds in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit compression
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit segments
    0
    Seed number
    1–5
    Septum in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    prickles on fruits
    the fruits do not have thorn-like defensive structures
  • Glands or sap
    Glands on leaf blade
    the leaf blades do not have glandular dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
    Sap color
    the sap is clear
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is an herb (it has self-supporting stems)
    Horizontal rooting stem
    the plant has stolons
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Parasitism
    the plant is not parasitic
    Plant color
    the leaves or young stems of the plant are green
    Plants darken when dry
    no
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Bracteole edges
    • the bracteole margins are entire (without teeth, lobes or hairs)
    • the bracteole margins have teeth
    Bracteole number (Apiaceae)
    0
    Bracteoles
    the plant has bracteoles between the primary bracts and the flowers
    Bracts in plantain (Plantago)
    NA
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    10–60 mm
    Final leaf segment length to width ratio (compound lvs only)
    1.5–1.7
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    6–40 mm
    Floral bract texture
    the floral bracts are green, with a leaf-like texture
    Floral bracts
    the flower has one or more bracts associated with it
    Hairs on leaf stalk
    the petiole has hairs on it
    Hairs on underside of leaf
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf
    the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hooked hairs on underside of leaf
    no
    Inflated hairs on leaf
    the leaf blade does not have inflated hairs on it
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has a distinct leaf stalk (petiole)
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade base symmetry
    the leaf blade base is symmetrical
    Leaf blade bloom
    the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade flatness
    the leaf is flat (planar) at the edges
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade has simple hairs with no glands, and not tangled or wooly
    Leaf blade primary vein pattern
    the secondary veins branch off at intervals from the primary vein
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is obovate (egg-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf blade texture
    the leaf blade is herbaceous (has a leafy texture)
    Leaf blade vein pattern
    the major veins of the leaf blade branch, but do not rejoin
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has one main vein running from the base towards the tip (it may or may not have secondary veins)
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they whither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf form
    the leaves are green, with an expanded blade and a leaf-like texture
    Leaf hair orientation
    the hairs are standing up straight or curved in different directions
    Leaf shiny
    the upper side of the leaf is dull or slightly shiny
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf stalk attachment to leaf
    the petiole attaches at the basal margin of the leaf blade
    Leaf stalk length
    30–200 mm
    Leaf teeth and lobes
    the leaf blade margin has forward-pointing teeth
    Leaf tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is obtuse (bluntly pointed)
    Leaf type
    the leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets
    Leaf types
    NA
    Leaf variation
    the lower leaves are larger, toothier, and/or on longer stalks than the upper leaves
    Leaflet number
    3
    Leaflet petiolules
    • the leaflets of the compound leaf have petiolules
    • the leaflets of the compound leaf lack petiolules
    Leaves per node
    the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant (i.e., basal)
    Pinnately compound leaf type
    the pinnately compound leaves have a terminal leaflet (and usually have an odd number of leaflets per axis)
    Specific leaf type
    • the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
    • the leaf has lobes that radiate from the base, somewhat like a hand
    Stipels
    there are no stipels at the bases of the petiolules
    Stipule features
    NA
    Stipule fused to leaf stalk
    the stipules are fused to the petioles for some or most of their length
    Stipules
    the plant has stipules
    Teeth per side of leaf blade
    12–21
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • cliffs, balds, or ledges
    • forests
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • ridges or ledges
    • woodlands
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of a smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    NA
    Direction of stem hairs
    the hairs point mostly upwards to outwards
    Hair between stem nodes
    the stem has hairs between the nodes
    Hairs between stem nodes
    the hairs on the stem are plain, without glands or branches, and not tangled
    Hooked hairs on stem between nodes
    no
    Leaves on stem
    the flowering stem has no leaves above the base
    Plant height
    5–30 cm
    Stem bloom
    there is no powdery or waxy film on the stem
    Stem hair distribution
    the hairs on the stem are distributed more of less uniformly
    Stem nodes swollen
    the stem is not swollen at the nodes
    Stem orientation
    the stems are upright or angled outwards
    Stem roughness between nodes
    the stem does not feel rough
    Stem succulence
    the stems are not succulent
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant does not have tendrils
    Wings on stem
    the stem does not have wings on it

Wetland Status

Occurs only in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: UPL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

ssp. americana

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

ssp. vesca

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Fragaria virginiana:
leaflets with short, but evident stalks and terminal tooth of leaflets less than half as wide as the adjacent teeth (vs. F. vesca, with leaflets without or essentially without stalks and terminal tooth of leaflets more than half as wide as the adjacent teeth).

Synonyms

  • Fragaria americana (Porter) Britt.
  • Fragaria vesca var. americana Porter

Family

Rosaceae

Genus

Fragaria

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Fragaria vesca L. ssp. vesca is non-native and known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. F. vesca L. ssp. americana (Porter) Staudt is native and known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Fragaria vesca L. n

woodland strawberry.  1a. Fragaria americana (Porter) Britt.; F. vesca L. var. americana Porter;  1b. Fragaria vesca L. var. alba (Ehrh.) Rydb. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Forests, woodlands, outcrops, fields, roadsides, clearings, waste areas.

1a.  Flowers 12–14.6 mm wide in life; fruit slender-ovoid to ellipsoid; stolons with appressed hairs in proximal portion … 1a. F. vesca ssp. americana (Porter) Staudt

1b.  Flowers 13.2–20.5 mm wide in life; fruit ovoid to subglobose; stolons with spreading hairs in proximal portion … 1b. F. vesca ssp. vesca

Subspecies americana is native and known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Subspecies vesca 
 is non-native and known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. It sometimes produces a white to cream-white fruit (rather than the normal red color).