Fragaria vesca

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: wild strawberry 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Temperate northern Hemisphere
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 0.25 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to August
Bloom Description: White with yellow center
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Tolerate: Deer


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.


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.


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.