Content Detail

Barren-strawberry is a durable, low-growing ground cover.  It produces bright yellow flowers in early summer.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing plant (under 6 inches), Small plant (6-12 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Yellow
  • Shape or form Creeping
  • Growth rate Slow

Size and Method of spreading: 

Barren-strawberry is a low-growing ground cover that seldom gets taller than 6 inches in leaf.  When in flower, the flowers may add another 2 to 4 inches to the height.  It is a colonizing ground cover.  Colonizing ground covers produce underground stems that spread out horizontally and shallowly, produce roots, and then send up new shoots.  Barren-strawberry tends to grow more slowly than most colonizing ground covers.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Barren-strawberry is native to Europe and Asia.

Leaf description: 

Most of the leaves grow from the base of the plant. The leaves are compound with three leaflets. The leaflets have serrated margins.

Flower description: 

Clusters of bright yellow, five-petaled flowers are produced from late spring into early summer

Fruit description: 

Once pollinated, the flowers produce small, strawberry-like structures that hold the true fruits, which are achenes (the “seeds”).

Plant care: 

Barren-strawberry is a fairly low-maintenance plant that can grow in a variety of soils. When grown in full sun, soil moisture needs to be consistent.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Barren-strawberry generally have no serious problems, but fungal leaf spots can occur. It is resistant to deer.

Related species: 

Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides):

Very similar to the species listed above, the leaves are less glossy and the entire plant is slightly taller.  It is less tolerant of heat (Zone 4 to 7).  The two species are closely related and often mistaken for one another.


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