Duchesnea indica (Andr.) Focke - False Strawberry

Duchesnea indica plant

Family - Rosaceae

Stems - Trailing, rooting at nodes, to +30cm long, strigose to pilose, herbaceous, multiple from the base.

Duchesnea indica stemStem.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, stipulate, trifoliolate. Stipules to +/-7mm long, +/-3mm broad, oblong-lanceolate, ciliate-margined. Petioles to +/-6cm long, antrorse strigose. Petiolules to 5mm long. Leaflets ovate (the lateral leaflets oblique at the base), crenate-serrate, to 5cm long, -3cm broad, strigose above and below on veins. Margins strigillose.

Duchesnea indica leaves

Inflorescence - Single pedunculate axillary flowers. Peduncles erect, -6cm long, antrorse strigose.

Flowers - Hypanthium short, broad, with five 3-lobed bracts alternating with the sepals. Bracts +/-6mm long in flower, +/-6mm broad, with ciliolate margins. Sepals apiculate to aristate, 7-8mm long, 4mm broad, arachnoid pubescent above, ciliolate-margined, pilose below, yellowish at base. Stamens erect, borne at the edge of the receptacle, +/-20. Filaments yellow, glabrous, 3mm long. Anthers yellow, roundish, -1mm long. Hypanthium ciliate internally. Ovary purplish, 3mm long, 2mm in diameter. Receptacle conic, glabrous. Achenes brownish-purple, glabrous, reniform, -1mm broad. Style yellow, glabrous, 1.3mm long. Stigma capitate. Petals 5, yellow, distinct, spreading, 7-8mm long, 4-5mm broad, entire, glabrous, emarginate to truncate at apex. Fruit an aggregate, red, much like a strawberry but bland in taste, to +/-1cm long.

Duchesnea indica hypanthiumHypanthium.

Duchesnea indica flowerFlower close-up.

Duchesnea indica fruitFruit.

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Open woods, prairies, fields, lawns, waste ground.

Origin - Native to Asia.

Other info. - This small introduced species can be found throughout much of Missouri. The bright yellow flowers are easy to see in the spring as are the bright red fruits that follow. Although the fruits look mighty tasty, they are quite bland and dry and are certainly no substitute for real strawberries, genus Fragaria.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 4-12-03 and at Rock Island State Park, TN., 5-16-03.


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