Indian Strawberry

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inidain strawberry 3

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 The Wild Indian Strawberry or Mock Strawberry

(Duchesnea indica)

Interesting Information About Plant: 

The Wild Indian’s fruit and leaves are edible and medicinal. However, the fruit is said to be tasteless, a flavor somewhat akin to a watermelon according to some. The fruit contains constituents such as sugar, protein, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The leaves also edible as pot herb, also known as a cooking herb. The entire plant is medicinal as an anticoagulant, antiseptic, depurative (purifier) and febrifuge (fever reducer). The herb can be used for stomatitis (an inflammation of the mucus lining), laryngitis, and acute tonsillitis. The fresh leaves can be crushed and applied externally as a medicinal poultice, a soft and moist mass. It is used in the treatment of boils and absesses, burns, weeping eczema, ringworm, snake and insect bites and traumatic injuries. A decoction of the leaves is medicinal and used in the treatment of swellings. An infusion, or liquid extract, of the flowers is used to activate the blood circulation. The Indian Strawberry can also cure skin diseases. In folklore it is said that in India it is to be used as an offering to the gods. The Wild Indian Strawberry is used extensively in China as a medicinal herb, and is being studied for its ability to stop the HIV virus and some forms of cancer from spreading through the body.


A cooling and medicinal drink for an upset stomach: Take 8 oz. of water and add a ¼ cup of the Wild Indian Strawberries. Blend or crush them in the water. Add honey, vanilla, or mint for taste, and drink on ice.

Medicinal poultice (a soft moist mass): Place the leaves and berries in a cloth. Crush them and apply directly to the wound.

Common Name: The Wild Indian Strawberry or Mock Strawberry

Scientific Name: Duchesnea indica

Family Name (Scientific and Common): Rosaceae  

Continent of Origin: Believed to be from East Asia, China, Japan, the Himalayas, and the Indies. However, some experts believe it is native to North America.

Most Distinguishing Morphological Features of This Plant:  The Wild Indian, or Mock, Strawberry is a weedy ground cover known for it’s small, red fruit, yellow flowers, and little leaves.

Plant Growth Habit: Ground Cover 

Height at Maturity: Less than 1 foot 

Life Span: Perennial

Seasonal Habit: Evergreen Perennial  

Growth Habitat: Full Sun to Full Shade

Manner of Culture: Weed

Thorns on Younger Stem? No

Cross Section of Younger Stem: Roundish 

Stem (or Trunk) Diameter: Less Than The Diameter of a Pencil  

Type of Leaf: Flat, Thin Leaf 

Length of Leaf (or Leaflet): Less than Length of a Credit Card 

Leaf Complexity: Palmately Compound

Shape of Leaf: Simple

Edge of Leaf: Serrated

Leaf Arrangement: Whorled (3 or more leaves per node)

Leaf has Petiole? Yes 

Patterns of Main-Veins: Parallel 

Leaf Hairiness: Somewhat Hairy  

Color of Foliage in Summer: Green 

Flowering Season:  Late Spring to Early Fall 

Flowers: Single

Type of Flower: Colorful Flower

Color of Flower: Yellow   

Shape of Individual Flower: Radially Symmetrical

Size of Individual Flower: Smaller than a Quarter  

Size of Fruit: Smaller than a Quarter 

Fruit Fleshiness at Maturity: Fleshy 

Shape of Fruit: Oblong-Oval   

Color of Fruit at Maturity: Red    

Fruit Desirable to Birds or Squirrels? Yes-Birds

Is the Plant Poisonous: None of Plant

Pesky Plant (weedy, hard to control)? Yes, sometimes

Common Name(s): The Wild Indian Strawberry, Mock Strawberry, False Strawberry, She Mei

Louisville Plants That Are Most Easily Confused With This One: Wild Strawberry

Page prepared by:

Meghan O’Brien

December 2006         

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