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Botanical Name: Fragaria californica
Synonyms : Fragaria vesca californica. (Cham.&Schldl.)Staudt.
Common Name : Californian Strawberry
Habitat : Fragaria californica is native to South-western N. America – California. It grows in shaded, fairly damp places in woodland.
Fragaria californica is a perennial plant growing to 0.3 m (1ft). The plant is pretty, fast-spreading shady groundcover, with white flowers and red thimble-sized fruit that is the yummiest of any native strawberry. It looks lovely creeping among stepping stones, spilling out of a pot, or spreading in between shade-loving perennials like Columbine and Coral Bells. It is deer resistant once established, and likes dappled light and occasional water.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced. A vigorous plant, spreading rapidly by means of runners. It flowers freely with us, but has not set fruit on our Cornwall trial ground as yet, possibly because all our plants are one clone.
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Tea.
Fruit – raw. Aromatic, sweet and succulent. The fruit can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 15mm in diameter. The fresh or dried leaves are used to brew an excellent tea.
The leaves are astringent. A decoction has been used in the treatment of dysentery[
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.