Woodland Strawberry

Fragaria vesca

Native Plant

Plant Category   Perennial, ground cover
Flowering Time   Late winter and spring
Fruiting Time   Summer
Planting Time   Late spring, early summer
Where to Plant   Stream banks, seeps, drainage ditches, and many environments
Soil and Light   Tolerates a variety of soils but prefers well-drained soil. Grows well in clay. Will tolerate full shade but prefers part shade/partial sun as it needs sun to ripen.
Companion Plants   This plant grows in the understory of woodland trees and shrubs and weaves with other native plants without dominating. It does well under oaks.
Wildlife   Bird and butterfly gardens, host plant for as many as 41 butterflies and moths. Deer Resistant.

Woodland Strawberry

Fragaria vesca

Meet the Woodland Strawberry, scientifically known as Fragaria vesca. This native ground cover is a practical, attractive, and valuable asset for gardens and habitat restoration efforts.

Thriving in woodland and forest habitats, Woodland Strawberries spread through underground rhizomes and aboveground stolons. They’re adaptable from shade to full sun and various soils, making them ideal for varied environments. Younger plants are more vigorous and produce more berries.

These plants aren’t just pretty—they’re essential hosts for up to 41 species of butterflies and moths, attracting pollinators and enhancing local biodiversity. Additionally, their fruit is a favorite among birds.

Woodland Strawberries produce fruit in their first year and tolerate some foot traffic, making them versatile and low maintenance. Their low, spreading form makes them ideal for filling in empty spaces between and underneath taller plants like irises (Iris spp.), currants (Ribes spp.), and oaks (Quercus spp.). Perfect for creating lush, layered landscapes supporting a thriving ecosystem. 

Propagating Woodland Strawberries

  1. Runners: Let the plant’s runners spread and root where they touch the soil. Once new plants form, cut them from the parent and transplant them. This approach is the easiest and most successful.
  2. Division: Dig up established plants and separate the roots into smaller sections with foliage. Replant in prepared soil and water thoroughly.
  3. Seed: Collect ripe berry seeds, sow them in trays with well-draining soil, keep them moist, and place them in a warm, sunny spot. After germination, transplant seedlings as needed. You can also plant the ripe strawberry directly in the ground. 

Care of Woodland Strawberries

  1. Location: Plant in partial shade to full sun with well-draining soil.
  2. Watering: Plants thrive when consistently moist. Foliar watering is a benefit.
  3. Mulching: Mulch with organic materials to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and provide nutrients.