Fragaria vesca

Rosaceae

Alpine Strawberry

It grows between 6-12 inch tall, with spreading hairs on the petioles and peduncles. The plant has thick rootstock, long woody runners, which arch. The top of the plant is thin and light green in colour and mostly glabrous. Underneath the plant is a lighter colour and slightly silky-toothed. The flowers produced are small clusters, equalling or exceeding the leaves, growing to about a ½ inch across and are bisexual.

Smaller than common strawberry fruits. Berries are firm, hemispheric or somewhat elongated and with a short neck, achenes are very prominent projecting from the surface, with the hull widely spreading.  The fruit is whitish and deliciously juicy or rather dry and seedy, depending on where you pick it. The porter has subappressed hairs on peduncles and pedicels and the fruit is red in colour. Indigenous to Northern hemisphere. This fruit sometimes bears again in autumn.

Uses

Eat fresh, or use any way a larger strawberry is used; however the small size of the berries makes it far less viable commercially than modern cultivars of strawberries.

This species may however be used as a parent, to breed desired characteristics into new cultivars.

Culture

Chalky soil produces the best results. Ferilize during spring growth, keep soil moist, avoid excessive drying out in windy or hot conditions. Prefers full sun or very light shading.

Mulch to reduce weeds, conserve soil moisture and give berries a clean surface to lay on.

Can be grown successfully in containers or hanging baskets.

In general for this and other strawberry species:

The ideal temperature for strawberry, at fruit production stage, is 21°C during the day and 15°C at night; the fruit is firmer when night temperatures are below 19°C.  When the plants are inactive, the dormant buds can tolerate much lower temperatures, down to -10°C. Active plants with unopened buds (well before opening) can tolerate temperatures down to -1°C. Even once opened the flowers and even small immature green fruit can withstand 0°C.

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Propagation

Usually propagate by separation or division.

May be also grown from ripe seed.


Cultivars

No information available at this time...

Plant Health

Fewer pest and disease problems than larger berried commercial strawberry cultivars.

Sometimes snails, slugs or small animals like rodents.

Occasionally fungal or insect problems.

More info

Also known as Fraises des Bois (which derives from the verb ‘to strew’), Wild (European) Strawberry, European Strawberry and Woodland Strawberry.