Fragaria virginiana

An edible wild strawberry

Fragaria virginiana common strawberry

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

This native perennial species is similar to the domestic strawberry. It is a low plant with hairy stems. The leaves have three coarsely toothed leaflets on the end of a slender stalk. The flowers have round petals and are found on a separate stalk from the leaves. These flowers have five petals, 5 green sepals and 5 sepal-like bracts. There is a cluster of pistils in the center of the flower and a ring of 20-35 yellow anthers. These 1/2-¾ inch diameter flowers are almost always at about the same level above the ground as the leaves.

The red fruit does resemble the cultivated strawberry, but is smaller—about ½ inch in diameter. The seeds are embedded in pits and not on the surface of the fruit as in the domestic strawberry. The fruit is juicy and tart-sweet and quite edible by humans if the animals don’t get to it first.

This species is a widespread species in fields and edges of woods with a preference for medium wet to dry sunny areas. Otherwise it can be found in a variety of habitats. It can be found throughout North America and in every Pennsylvania county, and blooms from April to June. The plant can spread by runners and can form colonies. All strawberries have a basic haploid chromosome number of 7, but have duplicated them through a process called polyploidy. The wild strawberry has 8 sets of these chromosomes for a total of 56.

It is also called the Virginia strawberry. The wood strawberry (F. vesca) is an alien species from Europe that has naturalized in the state. The leaflets are narrower and more pointed, the flowers are smaller and the flowers are usually held above the leaves. The cultivated strawberry is a hybrid between the wild strawberry and the coastal strawberry (F. chiloensis).

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

Common in old fields, meadows, and other dry, open grounds.

Present throughout the state.

Wetland codes

Flowers April to June.

Fruits in June.

S-rank:  No rank
G-rank:  G5 (Secure)

Fragaria virginiana common strawberry

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA
Fragaria virginiana gallery
Plant Life-Form
perennial forb
Common Names
common strawberry wild strawberry Virginia strawberry