Botanical Name : Fragaria vesca ‘Semperflorens’
Species: F. vesca
Synonyms: Fragaria. alpina
Common Names: Alpine Strawberry
Other Names: Fraise du bois, Fragaria alpina, Fragaria vesca var. semperflorens, Wild strawberry ‘Semperflorens’, Alpine strawberry ‘Semperflorens’
Habitat: Fragaria vesca ‘Semperflorens’ is native to most of Europe, including Britain, to temperate Asia. It grows on woodland and damp undergrowth.
Fragaria vesca ‘Semperflorens’ is a perenniel plant growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). It is in flower from May to November, and the seeds ripen from June to November. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies).
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced when plants are growing in such a position. Prefers some shade according to some reports. Plants are often found on clay soils and on soils overlying chalk. Alpine strawberries appreciate a mulch of pine or spruce leaves. The alpine strawberry is often cultivated in the garden for its edible fruit. This fruit is fairly small but exquisitely flavoured and is freely produced from June to November. There are some named varieties]. It is not very feasible to grow this plant on a commercial scale because it is very labour intensive to pick and it is also hard to get the fruit to market in good quality. However, it is sometimes grown by specialised growers for the luxury market. The main drawback of growing this plant is that it tends to lose vigour after about 2 – 3 years, partly due to virus diseases and partly because the plant flowers and fruits so freely that it exhausts itself.
The leaves and the fruit are astringent, diuretic, laxative and tonic. The leaves are mainly used, though the fruits are an excellent food to take when feverish and are also effective in treating rheumatic gout. A slice of strawberry is also excellent when applied externally to sunburnt skin. A tea made from the leaves is a blood tonic]. It is used in the treatment of chilblains and also as an external wash on sunburn. The leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use. The fruits contain salicylic acid and are beneficial in the treatment of liver and kidney complaints, as well as in the treatment of rheumatism and gout. The roots are astringent and diuretic. A decoction is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea and chronic dysentery. Externally it is used to treat chilblains and as a throat gargle. The roots are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.
The flowers are an alternative ingredient of ‘Quick Return’ herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost. The fruit is used as a tooth cleaner. The fresh fruit removes stains from teeth if it is allowed to remain for about 5 minutes. The fruit is also used cosmetically in skin-care creams. It tones and whitens the skin, combats wrinkles, lightens freckles, soothes sunburn and whitens the teeth.
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.