Duchesnea indica

Botanical Name : Duchesnea indica
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Duchesnea
Species: D. indica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Duchesnea indica (sometimes called Potentilla indica), known commonly as mock strawberry, Gurbir, Indian strawberry or false strawberry

Habitat : Duchesnea indica is native to eastern and southern Asia, (E. Asia – China, Japan, Himalayas. An occasional garden escape in Britain) but has been introduced to many other areas as an ornamental plant. It has been naturalized in many regions, including the southern United States, and is considered an invasive species in some regions. It is considered one of the most invasive plants on the island of Réunion. It grows in Shady places in woods, grassy slopes, ravines in low mountains, all over Japan.
Description:
Duchesnea indica is an evergreen Perennial plant growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to October, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

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The leaves are trifoliate, roughly veined beneath, dark green, and often persisting through the winter, arising from short crowns. The plant spreads along creeping stolons, rooting and producing crowns at each node. The yellow flowers are produced in mid spring, then sporadically throughout the growing season. The aggregate accessory fruits are white or red, and entirely covered with red achenes, simple ovaries, each containing a single seed. They are edible, but they have very little flavor.

The fruit is similar to true strawberry, though this is apparently an independent evolution of a similar fruit type. It has yellow flowers, unlike the white or slightly pink flowers of true strawberries.

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Cultivation :
Prefers a moist but well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants are at their best in semi-shade, though they are not too fussy and can succeed in quite dense shade. They also grow well in a rock garden. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. A very ornamental plant but it can be invasive, spreading freely by means of runners. Plants are more or less evergreen, though they can be browned by severe frosts. Plants sometimes self-sow in British gardens.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 6 weeks or more at 15°c. A period of cold stratification may speed up germination. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division of runners in spring or late summer. Very easy, they can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses: …Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.

Fruit – raw. Dry and insipid. Certainly rather tasteless, but it is not dry. A flavour somewhat like a water melon according to some people, but this is possibly the product of a strained imagination.The fruit contains about 3.4% sugar, 1.5% protein, 1.6% ash. Vitamin C is 6.3mg per 100ml of juice. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter with the appearance and texture of a strawberry but very little flavour. A clump 2.5m² yields about 150g of fruit annually. Leaves – cooked
Medicinal Uses:
Anticoagulant; Antiphlogistic; Antiseptic; Depurative; Febrifuge; Poultice; Skin.

The whole plant is anticoagulant, antiseptic, depurative and febrifuge. It can be used in decoction or the fresh leaves can be crushed and applied externally as a poultice. It is used in the treatment of boils and abscesses, weeping eczema, ringworm, stomatitis, laryngitis, acute tonsillitis, snake and insect bites and traumatic injuries. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of swellings. An infusion of the flowers is used to activate the blood circulation. The fruit is used to cure skin diseases. A decoction of the plant is used as a poultice for abscesses, boils, burns etc.

Other Uses :
A good ground cover plant, spreading quickly by means of runners. It is rather bare in winter though and should not be grown with small plants since it will drown them out. A good cover for bulbous plants.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mock_strawberry
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Duchesnea+indica

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