Fragaria virginiana (Virginia Strawberry) SE

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Virginia strawberry or wild strawberry is a ground-hugging plant rising from a fibrous, perennial root system. Hairy leaf petioles, up to 6 in. long, each bear a single trifoliate leaf. The hairy flower stalk gives rise to a loose cluster of small, five-petaled flowers followed by tasty, wild strawberries.

Found in patches in fields and dry openings, this plant produces the finest, sweetest, wild strawberry. The edible portion of the strawberry is actually the central portion of the flower (receptacle) which enlarges greatly with maturity and is covered with the embedded, dried, seed-like fruit. Cultivated Strawberries are hybrids developed from this native species and the South American one. The similar Wood Strawberry (F. vesca) has seed-like fruit on the surface, not embedded, and sepals that point backwards.

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