South Dakota Native Plant Research
Rosaceae : Fragaria virginiana

Rosaceae : Fragaria virginiana


Download Seed: Achenes of wild strawberry after they were removed from the fruit, 1-1.5 mm long. (53 KB)

Download Seedling: Two month old seedling grown in research greenhouse at SDSU. (69 KB)

Download Vegetative: Basal, trifoliate leaves of wild strawberry in mid August, leaflets 1.5-7 cm long. (575 KB)

Download Flowering: The flowers have five sepals and five petals. (385 KB)

Download Fruiting: The fruit is red, juicy, and fleshy. (751 KB)

Family Name


Common Name

Wild strawberry

Native American Name

Dakota: Wazhushtech; Lakota: wažúšteča


Fragaria virginica is a stoloniferous, rosette-forming herb growing from a thick rhizome. The stolons produce new shoots where the touch the ground. The leaves are primarily basal, trifoliate, with long smooth to hairy petioles. The leaflets have short stalks, are 2.5-4 cm long, 18-25 mm wide, elliptic to obovate, with blunt teeth. The terminal tooth is generally smaller than the 2 flanking teeth. The inflorescence consist of 1-3 clusters of flowers (cymes) on top of hairy peduncles that are generally shorter than the leaves. The flowers are perfect, or appear so, with a hypanthium (floral cup) subtended bu 5 bracts. The 5 sepals are green, 4-10 mm long, the 5 white petals 6-14 mm long, with 20-40 stamens in 3 whorls and with many simple pistils on a hemispheric receptacle that enlarges into the fruit. The achenes are embedded in pits in the receptacle. Wild strawberries bloom from March into June on prairies, open woodlands and along streams and roadsides throughout South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Wild strawberries are a wonderful addition to any yard. The fruit have intense flavor that makes commercial strawberries blush with shame. The are easy to grow and make a nice groundcover. The flowers attract bees and butterflies and the fruit are an attractant for birds and small mammals.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect seed when fruit matures in June and remove from fruit.

Germination: Spring planting requires a 60-day cold moist pretreatment or fall sow.

Vegetative Propagation: Transplant ne pants at the ends of the stolons after they are rooted.

Soils: Loamy well drained organically rich soils.

Light: Full sun.

Water: Moderate.

Rosaceae : Fragaria virginiana