New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: n/a
Fragaria vesca, commonly called wild strawberry, is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows to a height of 200mm and forms stolons (runners) with joints from which new plants grow. The leaves, flowers, and fruit look very similar to the familiar commercial strawberries but are much smaller.
Leaves are thin, light green on top, lighter green and slightly hairy underneath, with large sharp serrations along the margins. Flowers are about 13mm in diameter. Flower parts are in whorls with the outer two whorls consisting of a whorl of five narrow bracts alternating in alignment with an inner whorl of five wider sepals. Within the sepals is a whorl of five white petals. The bisexual flowers have 20 stamens. The fruit is red coloured, hemispherical with soft, pulpy flesh, edible but strong tasting and highly aromatic. Seeds are small, raised and prominent on the outside of the flesh.
Fragaria vesca occurs in areas of damp waste ground, roadsides, open fields, forest margins, parks and reserves.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader