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Mock strawberry

Quick facts

Mock strawberry is an invasive species.

  • Mock strawberry is found in lawns and woods.
  • It grows as a dense, low-lying ground cover.
  • Can be a weedy pest of turf grass and lawns.
  • Has shown potential to be invasive and displace native species in parts of the United States.

Mock strawberries should be reported. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provides detailed recommendations for reporting invasive species.

Mock strawberry plant with red berry

How to identify mock strawberries

  • Also known as Indian strawberry, mock strawberry is a ground-hugging perennial plant.
  • Spreads by runners to form low-lying colonies in moist woodlands and lawns.
  • May be confused with the native wild strawberry, which is also low-growing but has white petals and flavored fruit.

Leaves

  • Compound leaf with three leaflets.
  • Hairless, dark green leaves with long petioles; roughly, pinnately veined; coarsely serrated margins.
  • The middle leaflet is wedge shaped at base.
  • Leaves may persist in the winter.

Flowers

  • Small flower with five yellow petals, five green sepals and many central stamens.
  • Green, rectangular bracts form under each flower.

Fruit

  • Small, red, strawberry-like berries that are virtually flavorless.
  • Unlike native wild strawberry, mock strawberry fruit points up, away from the ground, making the fruit highly visible.

Seeds

  • Very small, red seeds on the outside of the berry.

Roots

  • Spreads horizontally and forms new roots at each node.
close up of three leaf mock strawberry plant
Mock strawberry leaves
yellow mock strawberry flower
Mock strawberry flowers

 

 

Angela Gupta, Extension educator; Amy Rager, Extension educator; Megan M. Weber, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2019

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