Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Indian Strawberry, Mock Strawberry
Duchesnea indica

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Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Duchesnea (doo-KAY-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: indica (IN-dih-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Fragaria indica
Synonym:Potentilla indica

One vendor has this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Groundcovers
Perennials

Height:
under 6 in. (15 cm)

Spacing:
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Evergreen

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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Profile:

10 positives
7 neutrals
9 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive foxhead128 On Jun 17, 2013, foxhead128 from New York, NY wrote:

I recently acquired a few specimens of these. In only a matter of weeks after planting them, they have grown like mad and nearly doubled in number. I also find them to be rather pretty, though this is highly subjective. Some comments here say that they do well in shade; having placed them in a south-facing window, I can attest that they do well in direct sunlight as well. If given direct sunlight, they use up a lot of water; I suggest watering about once every three days. Mine have wilted a couple of times due to my carelessness, but as soon as they received water again, they sprang right back up. I'm guessing they won't need so much water if planted in shade.

Although I rated this plant positively, I can also understand some of the negative sentiments directed at it. It's an invasive species, grows aggressively, and produces baby plants at its leaf nodes. For those intending to plant it outdoors, I advise caution not to let it grow unchecked, lest it take over your entire lawn.

Negative evgboy On Mar 31, 2013, evgboy from Richmond, VA wrote:

I battle this weed on a regular basis. It, violets, and ground ivy invade any available space in my flower garden. I'm not sure why it gets any positive comments.

Negative jjames86 On Jul 6, 2011, jjames86 from New York, NY wrote:

this weed has insidiously invaded my lawn, along with something called creeping charlie. I have tried many things like weed-b-gone and hand-pulling. All I have to show for it are plenty of mosquito bites and sore back and knees after hours/days of pulling. The thing comes back even stronger than before, and each year seems to invade a new section of my lawn. I suppose I could cut all the trees in my yard down to eliminate shade, but I really dont want to do that. I also don't want to cut back on the sprinkler system since it is very hot during the summers and the grass will die.

Positive AmyMorie On Jun 3, 2011, AmyMorie from Green Cove Springs, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Grown as a (heavily irrigated) ornamental groundcover in Southern California. I found it naturalized in an unkempt lawn in Jacksonville FL. The area rarely gets irrigation so it must be surviving on rainfall, with grass and weed cover protecting soil moisture. I will try transplanting some to north Florida garden conditions soon.

Neutral natalie4b On Apr 10, 2011, natalie4b from Roswell, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

If you want a groundcover which you are able to contain - you will love this plant. Otherwise - beware. Spreads fast and furious, takes over all of your plants. The choice is yours.

I have other strawberries of various kinds that are edible - their blooms are pink and white. This one blooms yellow. So, yank it before it takes over your life. And keep your eye on it re-appearing in different places - it is truly a survivor, and will show up again.

Positive jody03 On Jan 14, 2011, jody03 from Iowa City, IA wrote:

I came across the plant in the new Thompson & Morgan catalog and in researching it online realized that I already have some in the "city grass" (between the sidewalk and street), for whose maintenance I am of course responsible. I think I'll encourage it, perhaps even plant more, in preference to the rest of the "grass" that's mainly violets and nimblewill--which is perfectly horrible, and if the D. indica can overwhelm *that*, I'd be delighted. It's many feet away from my own lawn and garden so not likely to spread there. I notice that other respondents find it especially troublesome in the southern states.

Positive sksteach On Jun 13, 2010, sksteach from Burlington, IA wrote:

These have been growing in my yard for years. I just discovered my chickens LOVE them. They are edible berries- used by some as an herb. What makes something a weed is in the eye of the beholder! ;-)

Neutral SandyBee589 On Jun 10, 2010, SandyBee589 from Lees Summit, MO wrote:

I noticed this plant a few summers ago in a shady area of the wild yard. This year, with higher than normal rainfall in our area, it is thriving. It's a pretty little plant and the 'berries' are especially attractive. Something eats the berries, but not vigorously. I've eaten a few of them. They are tasteless, but didn't make me sick and this year they aren't dry. Since they are so tasteless, there appears to be no reason to eat them, but if one were starving they probably have food value.
It is in a wild area of the property, and is definitely preferable to the poison ivy that used to grow there. I'm going to let it be for now, but it certainly has the propensity to invade and when it comes into my lawn, it will be war.

Negative MrsMac27 On May 24, 2010, MrsMac27 from Muskogee, OK wrote:

It is growing like wildfire in my next door neighbor's abandoned property, not too far on the other side of the fence from where I just started my new "salad" garden. Worried about it making it's way into my yard from the posts here, and I have no idea how to contact my former neighbors who have left their house and yard a grown over mess. The city has attempted contact to demand they tend to it, but nothing as of yet, and now we can add this to the masses of poison ivy, oak and virginia creeper that have been insidiously making their way into our yard from theirs. Great, just great.
Muskogee, Oklahoma

Negative Kelly333 On Apr 23, 2010, Kelly333 from Longview, TX wrote:

This is a weed you want to get rid of before it takes a hold of your grass or garden area. Indian Mock-Strawberry: Duchesnea indica is an invasive weed at my place. I thought it was wild strawberry at first. Now I know what it is I am trying to get rid of it. I wish I knew how to kill it, without killing my grass or plants around it. Do not plant this unless you want it to kill your grass.

Neutral brains On Oct 12, 2009, brains from Weatherly, PA wrote:

i dont kno much about this plant i just found it by my house today n had no clue what it was.. so i decided to do a little research n happened to find it.. ive never heard of a mock strawberry before n saw that it wasnt from any where near my area, pa, which is interesting.. i think its kinda cute n can honestly say that i havent eaten any of it nor do i plan to so i dont kno what it taste like.. i dont mind having it there but im not going out of my way to keep it.. if it grew on its own im sure its more than capable to fend for itself.. i dont know maybe ill get attached..

Positive lucky_pez On Jul 11, 2009, lucky_pez from Monroe, MI wrote:

I love this plant, it is an excellent ground cover and it spreads quickly. One thing that I have noticed in regards to other people's comments is that although it does thrive in shaded areas it does most certainly spread to areas of my lawn that do receive full sun until early to mid afternoon. Again in regards to other comments I saw, it is definately not poisenous; it does not give you diarrea or stomach cramps; it does not kill you even if ingested in substantially large amounts; you can eat the flowers, leaves, and berries without contracting any illness; and it has numerous medicinal uses! It doesn't have very much flavor so it makes a great light flavored juice and works really well in jams and pies. I haven't seen any birds, squirels, or chipmunks eating the berries but rabbits LOVE them!

Positive Andy86 On Jun 11, 2009, Andy86 from Oroville, CA wrote:

This is the first tome seeing the plant im going to let it grow I read some of the comments and some of you seem to injoy the plant ill give a chance


seen in:
Oroville ,CA

Positive kryistina On Jun 22, 2008, kryistina from Springfield, MO wrote:

My family just loves this prolific plant. The leaves make a lovely tea, and can be eaten as cooked greens, while the nearly-tasteless berries are great vitamin-rich filler for any jam or jelly for which you may not have enough of a stronger-flavored fruit. Also great as a mild jelly or juice for hot days in the middle of summer. It does not like full sun, so id a fantastic, lush ground cover for the north sides of houses, as it will not spread out into the harsh mid-day sun.

Negative redlawyer On May 19, 2008, redlawyer from Richmond, VA wrote:

Negative isn't strong enough to express my hatred of this plant. I missed pulling out all that I could last spring when my daughter was born. Now, this plant has smothered two hostas, is giving the creeping jenny a run for it and has prevented any seeds from last years cleome from sprouting. I HATE THESE PLANTS. Neither the birds, squirrels nor chipmunks will eat the berries.

Negative Amoena On Apr 7, 2008, Amoena from Nashville, TN wrote:

Here in Nashville, TN, this plant is a widespread noxious weed. I had always assumed it to be a native plant, and I'm
quite surprised to learn that it is actually an exotic! Don't
plant it, please! Real strawberries, such as the native F. virginica, or the English woodland strawberry, F. vesca,
are just as easy to grow, far more attractive, and produce delicious berries, too.

But for what it's worth, this weed prefers damp, partially shaded areas....

Negative CaptMicha On Jan 8, 2008, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Mock Strawberry grows all over the shady parts of my property and especially in the woods. It's a vigorous spreading plant and is invasive.

The fruit is tasteless but not toxic. It's woody and therefor unpalatable.

Much better alternatives can be planted. Native wild strawberries can put into it's place. Animals and people both can enjoy the berries, giving it actual value. Tea make the leaves also add value to the wild strawberry plants.

If you just like the yellow flowers, then several Cinquefoil (Potentilla) species can be substituted as many resemble the plant though without the berries.

Negative kenny1313 On Oct 29, 2007, kenny1313 from Crosby, TX wrote:

very annoying and unattracting plant spent months trying to clean the plant out of my yard and spreds very quickly
the foul smell scares away birds and attracts beetles and other insects that eat other plants
deadly if ingested other sites are wrong , my cousin ate a handfull in our childhood and was found later,dead in the woods
only deadly if eaten in numbers, but only if you eat one it causes dirrea and abdonimal pains and cramps

Neutral QueenB On Apr 2, 2007, QueenB from Shepherd, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant likes moist areas, and can spread as if by magic. I think mine spread because of my chickens dispersing the seed in my yard. What started out in a patch way to the back of my property is now growing in at least three large unconnected patches in my front yard. While great for color and erosion control, it will quickly take over an area and is a real pain to get rid of once established. I would recommend this plant only for areas that you want to have some kind of low cover in where nothing else will grow.

Negative greenkat On Jan 1, 2007, greenkat from Crofton, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

This little plant was growing in my shady back yard when I bought my house. In my opinion it is not very attractive. It spreads vigorously and the birds in my area don't seem to like the berries. It was a pain in the neck to remove. If you leave a tiny piece of it anywhere it will grow back. I have spent several summers trying to weed out stray clumps of it.

Positive hotlanta On Jul 14, 2006, hotlanta from Lilburn, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I had been fighting this plant for years because of it's ability to invade other garden areas. However, I have come to realize that this plant is actually beneficial as a ground cover. The birds do like the berries. So, I am going to let them naturalize my yard but control them somewhat.

Neutral joegee On May 30, 2006, joegee from Bucyrus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a small plant, but attractive and charming. In the past I have seen red, strawberry-like berries on it. It seems to prefer shade, and moist soil.

Neutral raisedbedbob On Feb 17, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

According to the Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants, In Asia, whole plant poultice or wash was used to treat abcesses, boils, burns, insect stings, eczema, ringworm, rheumatism and traumatic injuries. Whole-plant tea used for laryingitis and coughs. Flower tea was used to stimulate blood circulation.

Positive ladyannne On May 2, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A delightful ground cover, full and lush in morning sun and afternoon shade in hot areas, but you have to let it be happy where IT wants to be. Readily jumps walkways and migrates towards water. The red berries and yellow flowers can't be beat for colour or bird visits. The seeds are plentiful so clip off the red berries to prevent seedlings. The plant will travel underground enough without them!

Positive Paulwhwest On Apr 30, 2004, Paulwhwest from Irving (Dallas area), TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This ground cover is very vigorous, and the flowers and berries are both quite attractive. The birds seem to like the berries on mine. It can be invasive so be careful where you put it.

Neutral Baa On Aug 8, 2002, Baa wrote:

A creeping perennial from India, China and Japan.

Has 3-palmate leaves with elongated ovate, toothed, slightly hairy and deeply veined leaflets. Bears solitary, 5 petalled, bright yellow flowers with a conspicuous green calyces. Bright red Strawberry like (in appearance) fruits follow the flowers.

Flowers Late May - September

Will tolerate virtually any situation but prefers humus rich, fertile soil in shade. This ability to live in many situations and the fact that it spreads very quickly by long reaching stolon runners can easily make this an invasive weed which escapes into the wild. The eventual spread is almost indefinite in garden situations it enjoys.

The fruits are edible but don't be fooled, they don't taste like Strawberries and are very dry and unpalateble.

Divide plants by the rooted plantlets along the stolons, it's much easier to propagate the plant this way than by seed.

Interesting plant with a long season but be aware it may escape out into the wild and/or take over the area it's planted in.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Concow, California
Los Angeles, California
Marysville, California
Merced, California
Cos Cob, Connecticut
Jacksonville, Florida
Lilburn, Georgia
Roswell, Georgia
Winnetka, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
South Bend, Indiana
Wabash, Indiana
Burlington, Iowa
Benton, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Coushatta, Louisiana
Monroe, Louisiana
Brookeville, Maryland
Crofton, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Dearborn, Michigan
Monroe, Michigan
Doniphan, Missouri
Lees Summit, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri (2 reports)
Omaha, Nebraska
New York City, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Clayton, North Carolina
Henderson, North Carolina
Norlina, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Newark, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio
Muskogee, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
White Haven, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Beaumont, Texas
Crosby, Texas
Denton, Texas
Garland, Texas
Houston, Texas
Humble, Texas
Irving, Texas
Longview, Texas
Porter, Texas
Shepherd, Texas
Charlottesville, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia (2 reports)
Virginia Beach, Virginia



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