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412 illustration

Wild strawberry

Fragaria vesca

Description:
The basal leaves of this low-growing perennial have three leaflets that are thin, coarsely serrated with sharp-tipped teeth, slightly hairy above and hairier below. The flowers that appear from April to July are pollinated by bees, flies, moths and butterflies. They are 1.5 centimetres in diameter and comprise five green sepals and five rounded white petals. The fleshy, red fruits are about 1 centimetre in diameter and ripen from May to September. The wild strawberry has been cultivated in European gardens for centuries. The garden strawberry (Fragaria ananassa), which is grown commercially, is much bigger than the wild strawberry.

Habitat:
The wild strawberry grows in light woodlands, grassland and scrub. It prefers sandy, loamy and clay soils that must be well drained. It is native to the temperate regions of Europe and Asia.

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