Content Detail

Wild strawberry is a native wildflower that can be used as a ground cover. It produces white flowers in spring, followed by edible strawberries. 

This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Perennial
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Dry soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites
  • Season of interest early summer, late spring, late summer, midsummer
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Creeping
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size and Method of spreading:

Wild strawberry grows 4 to 8 inches high and can spread out into large patches due to runners. It is a trailing-rooting ground cover.  Trailing-rooting ground covers have trailing stems that spread out from a central root system.  These stems spread out horizontally over the ground and can root where they come in contact with the soil.  New shoots will be formed at the point where rooting occurs.

Native geographic location and habitat:

Common in open woodlands, savannahs and meadows. C-Value:  1

Leaf description:

Leaves are trifoliate (three leaflets), with jagged leaf margins.

Flower description:

White flowers with 5 petals are produced in spring and early summer.

Fruit description:

Fruit are edible strawberries.

Plant care:

Full sun to partial shade is best. Moist, well drained soils are preferred, but some dryness is tolerated.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Strawberries are susceptible to a number of diseases including, anthracnose, leaf spots, crown rot, verticillium wilt and viruses.

Related hybrids

Lipstick ornamental strawberry (Fragaria ‘Lipstick’):

Deep, red-pink flowers produced in spring. Occasionally will produce a few small, edible fruit.

Pink Panda ornamental strawberry (Fragaria ‘Frel’):

Deep pink flowers produce in spring as well as sporadically through the season. Occasionally will produce a few small, edible fruit.

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