moremoth's picture

Strawberry with detailed comments.

Observed: 11th May 2013 By: moremothmoremoth’s reputation in Plantsmoremoth’s reputation in Plantsmoremoth’s reputation in Plantsmoremoth’s reputation in Plantsmoremoth’s reputation in Plants
Another specimen.

Strawberry-like leaves and flowers at the edge of chalk grassland.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Fragaria vesca interacts


landgirl's picture


Are we sure about this one? The petals are not notched, as far as I can tell, and the leaves look shiny, although I realise that they are wet. I've been looking at a lot of Potentilla sterilis and Fragaria vesca recently, and the terminal tooth thing isn't always very convincing.

AlanS's picture


Chris Metherell's picture

Potentilla sterilis

The terminal tooth character is pretty well constant. Other characters are much more variable. I've never seen F.vesca with that pattern of leaf toothing.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland

AlanS's picture

Not so

Actually, the leaflet terminal tooth of Fragaria vesca is very variable, this is NOT a good character to use.

To quote CTM, for F. vesca: "The terminal tooth not or scarcely shorter (though sometimes narrower) than its neighbours" (my italics). I would describe the terminal teeth we see here as no more than 'scarcely shorter'. So we do not have a definitive separation.

The visible leaf looks like it is one associated with the flowering shoot rather than one of the mature runner leaves and the toothing is reasonably typical of such leaves in F. vesca.

The petals are broad, more or less contiguous, very rounded to the base, and with rounded to obtuse apices, fitting F. vesca. In P. sterilis the petals are distinctly more distant, usually have more tapering bases, and as pointed out by landgirl, notched or at least somewhat retuse.

It is always a problem dealing with a single photograph that doesn't show the aspect of the whole plant. However, I am in no doubt that this is Fragaria vesca.


landgirl's picture


My reading of Poland also supports an ID of Fragaria vesca. It says that the terminal leaflet has a stalk of less than 1 mm, while in Potentilla sterilis the stalk is up to 2.5 mm; it also agrees with Alan's terminal tooth comments and quote. I'm convinced!

cerigait's picture

Sepals visible between petals.

Do Fragaria have gaps between the petals that show the sepals?

I know this is a feature of Barren Strawberries, but don't know about Wild Strawberries.



landgirl's picture


Much less gappy than P.sterilis, but sometimes sepals are visible. Length of sepals also seems to be important - they are shorter than the petals in F. vesca, about the same length in P. sterilis, according to Streeter et al.

AlanS's picture


I thought about mentioning relative sepal/petal lengths in my post above, but this seems variable in P. sterilis. Certainly the petals can exceed the sepals on occasion in P. sterilis, so it is not reliable.

There does seem to be a character of the sepal tip though. In Stella Ross-Craig's highly accurate classic analytical drawings of the two species, she shows the keel of the sepals extending as a rather rigid tip in F. vesca, not so in P. sterilis. I shall have to compare some living plants to see if this holds true, but it was seeing the solid red tips to the sepals in the photograph above that led me to check Ross-Craig.


moremoth's picture


Thanks for the detailed and useful comments, which I have saved for future use.

I have attached a photo of another plant from close by, which given these comments is probably part of the same group of the same species. It has shiny leaves with terminal teeth that are not shorter than their neighbours, and sepals like the first specimen, and even though the petals are widespread it looks like F. vesca.

Bill Welch

cerigait's picture

More confused! Lol

The leaf of the added picture certainly looks like wild strawberry, but given the sepal information added. The flower could now quite easily be Barren strawberry as Sepals look longer or as long as petals. Without flower I'd go with F. vesca.

The first picture had leaves that look quite different in shape and texture from the more typical wild strawberry shape on the new image.

Hmmm .... Definately more confusing! :).

Thanks for all if the information given,