Fragaria vesca 'Alexandra'

Common Name: woodland strawberry 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to October
Bloom Description: White with yellow center
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Best grown in humusy, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun. Plant will spread by runners and may self-seed if fruit is not harvested.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Fragaria vesca, commonly called woodland strawberry, is a small-fruited, everbearing wild strawberry that is native to Europe and Asia. Varieties of the species are found in North America both naturally and as introduced. This is a compact, stemless, 4-8” tall plant that spreads indefinitely by runners that root as they go. Numerous, small, 5-petaled white flowers with yellow centers appear throughout summer. Tri-foliate, coarsely-toothed, green leaves. Flowers are followed by edible, bright red strawberries (1/2” long) that may be harvested throughout summer. Flowers and fruit are usually simultaneously present on plants in summer. Although Steyermark finds F. vesca var. americana to be present in Missouri, the common wild strawberry of Missouri is a similar species, F. virginiana var. illinoensis.

Genus name comes from the Latin word fraga meaning strawberry presumably from fragrans meaning fragrant in reference to the perfume of the fruit.

Specific epithet means edible.

‘Alexandra’ is a small-fruited, woodland strawberry cultivar that is grown both for its ornamental value and its tasty berries. It features compact, 6-10” tall runnerless plants which make good edgers. Dense foliage mounds discourage many weeds. Numerous, small, 5-petaled white flowers with yellow centers appear throughout summer. Typical tri-foliate strawberry foliage. Flowers are followed by small bright red strawberries (1/2” long) which may also be harvested throughout summer. Berries are slightly larger than most other alpine/woodland types. Flowers and fruit are usually simultaneously present on plants in summer.

Problems

Strawberries are susceptible to a number of fungal diseases including anthracnose, leaf spots, rots, wilts, powdery mildew and blights. Insect visitors include spider mites and aphids. Leaf scorch may occur in hot summer climates. This species has good resistance to the aforementioned diseases and insects.

Garden Uses

Woodland strawberry is generally grown for its ornamental features because the fruits are so small. Native plant gardens. Edger or groundcover. Rock gardens. Open woodland areas. Also may be grown in containers or pots.