Potentilla Species, False Strawberry, Indian Strawberry, Mock Strawberry

Potentilla indica

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Potentilla (poh-ten-TILL-uh) (Info)
Species: indica (IN-dih-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Duchesnea indica




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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:


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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Concow, California

Los Angeles, California

Marysville, California

Merced, California

Oroville, California

Thermalito, California

Brookfield, Connecticut

Cos Cob, Connecticut

Jacksonville, Florida

Lilburn, Georgia

Roswell, Georgia

Cary, Illinois

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)

Willard, Missouri

Omaha, Nebraska

Ventnor City, New Jersey

Manorville, New York

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

Rome, Pennsylvania

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 19, 2021, Lseastrom from Willard, MO wrote:

I live in Willard, MO (6 miles north of Springfield)
This WEED is horrible!! We have two acres of land and it has infiltrated EVERYWHERE!! I honestly dont know what I can do to get rid of it. Ive been trying to dig it out by its roots for the last two years, but it seems to come back with a vengeance! This is NOT a native plant and regardless of how cute or useful it may seem, it is considered an invasive.
I grow many native plants (Missouri) and this stupid weed has continued to grow into them. I dont want to use any toxic herbicides, but I may have to in some spots.
This weed grows any and everywhere, not just shady areas. I have open sunny fields and its grows there vigorously, so dont be fooled. Youll regret planting this or allowing it to grow.


On Feb 28, 2019, dominus514 from Rome, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

I noticed this plant growing on ridge along our woodland. It certainly hasn't strayed beyond the original area where it was found. The leaves make a great tea. Potentially a medicine chest for the taking. The plant is actually cute. Mind you, I think that a Better Homes and Gardens yard is neither attractive nor desirable. I don't call my property 'The Wild Wood' without reason. Violets, real and mock strawberries, wild gooseberries, dandelions for wine and greens, wild grapes, poke-weed and teasel all have a place in my 'garden'. The rabbits, raccoons, possums,occasional bear and deer that come to dinner are delightful. Any orphan mock strawberries are welcome to move to my property so that I can harvest enough leaves for tea to last all winter. .


On Aug 16, 2015, artmaven wrote:

This is a horrible plant for coastal South Jersey!!! It is speedily taking over my lawn around Nonno's 70+ year old fig tree. I am significantly allergic to this Mock Strawberry. It causes irritation and swelling to my tongue and throat. I cannot tend to the fig tree, eat the figs or work anywhere in the garden without it affecting me to some degree.

After about an hour pulling it out, I experienced a very strong allergic reaction. I took an antihistamine and showered. Took a couple of hours before I felt better. The allergic reaction is much worse if I engage the plant but it still affects me wherever I am in my garden.

When I first noticed it a year ago, I pulled it out and planted grass. The grass came up beautifully ... until this Mock Strawberry started s... read more


On Mar 22, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I've always considered this a noxious weed. It spreads way too aggressively by runners, and there are always better ornamentals.

It has naturalized throughout eastern N. America and on the west coast.


On Mar 22, 2015, carminag from Fort Collins, CO wrote:

I live in Fort Collins CO and this plant has taken over the garden with my ornamentals and is moving into the yard. Very hard to pull. I can't use herbicides because of proximity to other plants. Only plant this if you don't want a yard with grass.


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 a... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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! ;-)


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.


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


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.


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..


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 ... read more


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


On Jun 22, 2008, kryistina from (Zone 6a) 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.


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.


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....


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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 Strawber... read more