Herbs & Plants

Barren Strawberry

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Botanical Name: Waldsteinia fragarioides
Family: Rosaceae
syn. Dalibarda fragarioides Michx.
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Tribe: Colurieae
Genus: Waldsteinia
Species: W. fragarioides

Barren Strawberry is found in woods and clearings. Native to U.S.

Description: This plant is often used as an underplanting in perennial gardens.The Barren Strawberry, or also Waldsteinia fragarioides is a low, spreading plant with showy yellow flowers that appear in early spring.
A low, strawberry-like plant with evergreen, basal leaves and several yellow flowers on a leafless stalk.

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Although this plant is strawberry-like, the flowers are yellow and the fruit is neither fleshy nor edible at maturity. Lobed Strawberry (W. lobata), found along riverbanks in Georgia and the Carolinas, has lobed and toothed leaves and narrow, yellow petal .

In some ways the appearance is similar to other low plants of the rose family such as Fragaria (strawberries) or Potentilla indica (Indian strawberry), but it lacks runners and has more rounded leaves.

Flowers with 5 broad petals and numerous stamens. Sepals narrow and pointed, generally shorter than the sepals. Stem absent, plant consisting of flower stems and leaf petioles arising from a common base. Runners absent. Leaf divided into 3 leaflets. Leaflets broad with the upper half coarsely dentate. Plant 3 to 8 inches in height
Flowering period: April to June.

Barren strawberry is an ornamental, strawberry-like plant grown primarily as a ground cover. Although native to eastern North America, it is rare in Missouri where it is only known to occur on wooded slopes and ledges in several counties in the Ozarks. It is a mat-forming plant (to 6″ tall) which spreads by runner-like rhizomes creeping just below the soil surface. Features 5-petaled yellow flowers (3/4″ diameter) which bloom singly or in clusters in spring and trifoliate leaves with wedge-shaped leaflets (each 1-2″ long). Flowers and leaves appear on separate stalks. Foliage is evergreen, but tends to bronze up in cold winter climates like St. Louis. Fruits are not berries, but are single-seeded achenes which are inedible, hence the common name of barren strawberry.

Uses: Best as a ground cover for small areas of the border, rock garden, native plant garden, woodland garden or naturalized area. Can also be used as an edging plant. Good substitute for grass in transitional areas.

Medicinal Uses:American Indians preparations of leaves, roots, and flowers to induce labor and to regulate menstruation as well as for the treatment of other disorders.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.