Duchesnea indica

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Duchesnea indica

Mock Strawberry
Binomial:Potentilla indica
Conditions:Deep shade to sun
Seed Dispersal:Birds
Vegetative Spread:Via stolon
Potentilla indica flower
Potentilla indica fruit

The Mock Strawberry, Potentilla indica (formerly Duchesnea indica), is also known as the Indian Strawberry. Although the foliage and fruit are quite similar, is not a true strawberry and can readily be distinguished by its yellow flowers, as opposed to the flowers of true strawberries which are white or slightly pink. It is native to eastern and southern Asia, but has been introduced to many other areas as an ornamental plant, though it is considered a noxious weed in some regions. It can become a particular problem in shady lawns and when growing in with other ground covers.

Description[edit | edit source]

The leaves are trifoliate, roughly veined beneath, dark green, often persisting through the winter, arising from short crowns. The plant spreads along long, wiry stolons, rooting and producing crowns at each node. The yellow flowers are produced in mid spring, then sporadically throughout the growing season, repeating if mown down before fruit set. The fruits are red, with red seeds, and while juicy and edible are not palatable like the true strawberries.

The plant is frequently mistaken for true strawberries, but they can be differentiated by the yellow flowers (strawberries have white petals), and the red seeds on the fruits (strawberry seeds are a golden color).

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Uses[edit | edit source]

Control[edit | edit source]

Control can be difficult if it is mixed in with other plants, and can confuse even the most experienced gardener when it grows intermingled with true strawberries. In some situations (such as where there are no other small plants present) it can simply be tolerated as a ground cover.

  • Mowing: Ineffective.
  • Cultivation: Can be problematic because of regrowth, but will control the plant if done consistently over time.
  • Pulling: Generally the best approach, though the plant can regrow from small fragments, and so frequent patrols of the infested areas should be carried out until there is no regrowth.
  • Barriers: Effective, though some seed banking may occur.
  • Contact herbicides (synthetic): Effective, both Glyphosate and 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid will kill the plant
  • Disposal: The plant is safe for composting, but should only go into hot systems if fruits are present.

References[edit | edit source]