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Mock strawberry , Potentilla indica , False Strawberries or Indian strawberry – edible wild plant

Today we will talk about mock strawberry, if you find some berries like this growing in your yard or out in the wild and you want to know: is this a wild strawberry? Can I eat it? Or is it some little imposter? and unfortunately, I gotta tell you, it is the impostor or a mock strawberry. It is edible, technically, but it has been known to cause some allergic reactions in some people.

However, it is edible and completely safe to eat. it just doesn’t have any flavor or it tastes just like water, very flavorless, with very little sugar or sweetness to it at all, and not that distinct strawberry flavor that you would expect from a Mock strawberry

This plant is the mock strawberry potentilla indicia and it is an introduced invasive species that as its scientific names suggest is native to India and surrounding areas but can now be found across the Eastern United States and even into Southern Canada.

There are various common names for mock strawberries that as Potentilla indica (previously Duchesnea indica), Indian strawberry, false strawberry, Fragaria indica, Duchesnea indica, or backyard strawberry. Mock strawberries are flowering plants belonging to the rose family.

mock strawberry or Potentilla indica

Plant description

Mock strawberry leaves

As we look at some of the dark green leaves of this plant we’re going to notice mock strawberry leaves have three sets. so there are three sets of little leaflets on each one of the leaves and they’re also toothed or serrated teeth going down the margins of each one of the leaflets.

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Leaflets of the wild strawberry plants are oval, Each leaflet can grow up to 0.5 to 2.0 inches long and wider up to 1.25 inches.

mock strawberry leaves , mock strawberry or Potentilla indica leaves

Mock strawberry flower

Mock strawberry flower has bright yellow flowers have five petals. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch in diameter. So it is an easy ID to recognize if it’s a mock strawberry or wild strawberry in blooming. whenever we look at the flower of Mock Strawberry we’re going to notice that it’s yellow instead of white.

if it was a true wild strawberry the flower would be white and not yellow so this is just a quick little heads-up to let you guys know whoops so this is just a quick little heads-up to let all of you guys know that this is not a wild strawberry. The blooming time of flowers is from mid-spring to throughout the growing season.

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mock strawberry flower ,mock strawberry or Potentilla indica flower

Fruit & Seeds

The mock strawberry fruits form on the plant pointing upward and are very visible. Round fruits of Mock strawberries are up to  ½ inch in diameter, also have very pronounced seeds, and look slightly spiky almost like the head of a Morning Star.

Once the berries come out, it’s usually just the one, kind of by itself on each plant, and it goes straight up like this And the berry itself is very round and the seeds are kind of stuck on the outside.

It looks like a little Koosh ball if you remember those and know what they look like. Kind of geometric in a way and very evenly spaced seeds.

mock strawberry fruit , mock strawberry or Potentilla indica leaves

Runner

Mock strawberry or Indian strawberry plant spread by runner, runner have a thin stem which grows horizontally from the plant base.

These runners can root from the nodes to form a new plant. Due to this phenomenon of plants, it spread rapidly. That’s why it is also called invasive weed.

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In a single growing season, a runner can spread up to 1.5 to 2.0 meters in length. Due to rapid growth, it forms a large colony.

mock strawberry runner , Potentilla indica runner ,  False Strawberries runner  or Indian strawberry runner – edible wild plant

Mock strawberry plant identification

Several factors can help to identify of mock strawberry plant as mentioned below:-

  • Mock strawberries are round and grow fruit in tiny sizes up to 0.5 inches in diameter. It looks a little bit like wild strawberries from a distance but up close you see those little red seeds on my stained working man’s hands there those little red seeds pop off pretty easily you can just kind of see the texture of it.
  • Mock strawberries produce yellow flowers along with 5 petals.
  • Mock strawberries have three sets of little leaflets on each one, the same as wild strawberries.
  • An identifying factor of the mock strawberry here these strawberries aim upwards always never downwards
  • They have almost no flavor to them some people say it has a hint of watermelon flavor to them but they are packed with nutrition so they are great to be mixed with other jams.

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How to grow Mock strawberry

Propagation of mock strawberry can be done through the runner just like strawberry, but we can utilize the seed of the berry. A lot of seeds are attached to the surface of the berry.

Sperate the seed by placing the berry on the paper towel and press, then the flesh of the berry disappears and the seed remains on the paper towel.

The color of the seed is attractive, we can collect a large amount of reddish seed by following this process. Sow the seed on a plant tray, and place and spread the seed on the surface of the soil.

Cover the seed by laying a thin soil layer. After that water gently to the soil to maintain the moisture content. Place the pot in an indirect sunlight area and maintain the moisture content. Don’t overwater the seeds. After 20-30 days of sowing seeds start to sprout.

After 10 days from the sprouting, the plant produces the main leaves. Once the stem and leaves grow healthy, you can transplant the berry plant in a bigger pot or different location.

Mock strawberry uses and health benefits

  • The berries can be eaten raw and made into jelly or juice or used to stretch out other berries when making jams and jellies.
  • You can use Mock strawberries for an ornamental purpose or to cover the ground in landscaping.
  • you can also harvest the leaves in summertime the leaves can be eaten raw cooked as greens or dried and made into tea
  • We can use the Mock strawberry for weed control despite being considered a weed themselves. It can restrict the growth of more harmful or invasive weeds.
  • It attracts honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinator insects, as well as it provides food for various birds and animals.
  • Now according to Asian herbal medicine, the medicinal part is the whole plant. In Asia a poultice or wash of the whole plant was used for absences boils burns, insect stings, eczema ringworm, rheumatism, and traumatic injuries
  • A tea was made from the whole plant and used for laryngitis offs and long ailments
  • A tea was also made from the flowers to stimulate blood circulation.

How to get rid of mock strawberry

  • We can manually remove the mock strawberry by hand pulling out the plant along with its roots to prevent its regrowth.
  • A thick layer of organic mulch like wooden chips or straw on the mock strawberry plant can prevent plant growth.
  • Regular mowing is very effective in preventing plant growth, to producing flowers and seeds.
  • We can pour boiling water directly on the mock strawberry plant which will kill the plant immediately.
  • Prepare the solution of vinegar along with dishwashing soap that can be sprayed on the plants of mock strawberries to prevent their growth.
  • You can provide physical barriers like edging or landscaping fabric to prevent the mock strawberry plant from spreading from unwanted areas.
  • We have discovered that applying our all-organic weed killer called One Earth Weed Control is extremely effective at controlling wild strawberries.
  • One Earth wheat control is made from a special form of iron that kills weeds by overloading the plant with nutrients sort of like a nitrogen burn but with iron what we have observed after a single treatment of one Earth weed control is that the leaves of the weeds will show signs of discoloration and browning but the weeds typically won’t die from just one treatment.

Mock strawberry vs wild strawberry

at first glance mock strawberry plant looks a lot like an actual strawberry plant but there are a few key differences as mentioned below:-

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Mock strawberry

Appearance:- Mock strawberry produces yellow flowers and it produces small red fruit in a round shape.

Mock straberry  fruit

Habitat: Mock strawberries commonly grow in the garden, backyard, lawn, and other open area.

Taste: Mock strawberries have a tasteless flavor or lack of sweetened flavor.

Uses: Mock strawberries are commonly not used for their lack of flavor, but we can blend them with other berries to make jam, jelly, juice, and smoothies.

wild strawberry

Appearance: A wild strawberry produces a white flower along with a yellow center and it produces small red flavorful fruit similar to a cultivated strawberry.

wild straberry fruit

Habitat: Wild strawberries commonly grow in meadows, woodland, and along forest edges.

Taste: Wild strawberries have a similar flavor as cultivated strawberries. It is valued for its sweet, aromatic flavor.

Uses: Wild strawberries are sweet in flavor and we can make jam, jelly, juice, and smoothy from the wild strawberry.

Can you eat a Mock Strawberry? / is mock strawberry edible

Yes, we can eat the mock strawberry in raw form, but it has a tasteless flavor so people blend these berries along with other berries to make jam jelly and smoothie-like products. and yes mock strawberry is edible but it has a less sweetened flavor.

What does Indian strawberry taste like?

Indian strawberry has a very less sweetened flavor or is just flavorless. Its flavor is not similar to cultivated garden strawberry or wild strawberry.

is mock strawberry poisonous

No, generally mock strawberries are not considered poisonous. It is not consumable due to its tasteless flavor compared to cultivated strawberries. It is always essential to consume wild plants as the risk of misidentification.

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