Wild Strawberries

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  #1  
Old 06-21-01, 04:40 AM
Pat Fox
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I just found a patch of wild strawberries at the back of our lot. The strawberries themselves are so small they would be very easy to overlook. I would like to know if there is any way to cultivate them so they grow larger strawberries? Thank you in advance for your advice. Pat
 
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  #2  
Old 06-21-01, 06:04 AM
Gami
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Wild Strawberries

Hi Pat,

No, that's as big as they get. Many moons ago, I had a huge area with wild strawberries. They grow in damp, shady conditions. I found them tasteless, but I understand others think they make flavorful preserves. I had a regular strawberry bed, so never tried it.

The leaves are excellent for tea with a very high Vitamin C content. It tastes just like Lipton tea. If you care to try it, wash them and put them in a large bowl or pan. Pour boiling water over them and let them steep until they are tea colored and the strength you like. You can also put them in a strainer and set them down in boiling water--that has been taken off the stove--to steep. The leaves can be dried to make tea throughout the winter. I hope you'll try it. I served it at a "ladies" party I had the first time I made it and didn't tell anyone until after the party. They couldn't believe it! Out of boredom, I worked part time at a Health Food Store for awhile and tried all sorts of "new" things. Some experiments were not too well received by my family.

Gami
 
  #3  
Old 06-21-01, 10:45 AM
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You either have real wild strawberries (a species of Fragaria), or False strawberry (Duchesnia indica). They will look very similar. Real Fragaria strawberries have a wonderful flavor, but are very delicate when ripe and squish oh so easily. Duchesnia fruits are dry and flavorless. I would NOT recommend eating the Duchesnia; one website (http://www.netside.com/~lcoble/bible/plantad.html) claims that it is highly poisonous, although I can't find another reference on that. I've tasted (but not eaten them) and didn't get sick, I suppose you could do that to see what kind you have. Also, Duchesnia has yellow flowers whereas Fragaria has white.

Commercial strawberries are so big because they are triploid. That is, they have 3 sets of chromasomes, whereas most plants and animals have 2 sets. In the instance of the strawberry, this gets translated into bigger fruit that lasts a lot longer. It does, however, seem to sacrifice flavor. Real wild strawberries have a more intense flavor. Also, because the commercial strawberries are triploid, they are sterile and the seeds can't germinate (notice you've never seen strawberry seeds for sale!) Bananas are like this too. Being triploid, their seeds are sterile and therefore tiny. Natural bananas have seeds the size of peppercorns! This isn't the case for strawberries though.

OK - so if you have REAL wild strawberries, you CAN try to cultivate them, but only to increase their yield. I don't know how much disturbance they will take, though. If it were me, I'd just try to encourage them in place by keeping the area relatively weed-free and watered during drought. Not sure if they would stand transplanting to the garden, but you could try it with a few of them to see if they take off.

I hope you have the real ones! They certainly are yummy!!!
 
  #4  
Old 06-21-01, 04:44 PM
Gami
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Wild Strawberries

Hi leu,

Interesting website. Lots of good info. I didn't read it all, but I intend to.

I was concerned when you stated that some varieties of wild strawberries shouldn't be eaten, since I recommended making tea out of the leaves, but I didn't really see a reference to that, unless I missed it. It referred to strawberry looking plants.

I found several other websites discussing "alpine strawberries", and they basically all said the same so I'm just listing a few.

http://www.laspilitas.com/plants/313.htm
http://www.gardenbed.com/f/1636.cfm
http://www.nhg.com/db/3135.htm

If someone knows if there is a variety that shouldn't be eaten, please let us all know.

My wild strawberries had white flowers so that must be why they were VERY tasteless. I didn't know there were other varieties and couldn't believe people were actually make jam out of them.

Thanks,

Gami

 
  #5  
Old 06-21-01, 06:43 PM
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Gami,

If it had white flowers, it was probably a species of Fragaria (real strawberry). I didn't know that there were any species that were tasteless, though! "Alpine strawberry" is just a common name for many of the wild Fragaria species.

As far as I know, there aren't any poisonous strawberries. Duchesnia indica isn't a strawberry at all, it just looks like one (it's in a separate genus altogether). But to most people, because it looks so similar, they think it's a strawberry and would be tempted to eat it. It's extremely common around here, and invades my garden like nobody's business. I wouldn't make tea with it's leaves either. But it sounds like you have the real McCoy.

Please do be careful when experimenting with wild plants. There are an awful lot of look-alikes out there, some of which are deadly. We'd hate to lose ya! If tasting is something that you like to do (I'm a grazer myself), might I recommend Peterson's Guide to Edible Wild Plants. Not only does it go into great detail what each plant looks like and what you can do with it (including making candies, salads, teas, etc.), it also outlines no-no look-alikes and other poisonous plants. I bet you'd really like this book.
 
  #6  
Old 06-22-01, 03:10 AM
Pat Fox
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I would like to thank you for all the useful information, unfortunately when I went out to check on the strawberries yesterday, they were bare, it seems the birds had beat me to them. Pat
 
  #7  
Old 06-22-01, 06:40 AM
Gami
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You're welcome, Pat. You must have the good tasting variety!

Thanks for the warning, leu! I have several books but haven't heard of the one you mentioned. I'll look for it. One I find real interesting, but doesn't have any photos, is "Back to Eden", by Jethro Klose. It was originally published in 1939, but has been updated several times.

I would never resort to natural remedies vs. going to a Dr., but I find the whole aspect very interesting.

Gami
 
  #8  
Old 06-01-08, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Gami View Post
Hi leu,

Interesting website. Lots of good info. I didn't read it all, but I intend to.

I was concerned when you stated that some varieties of wild strawberries shouldn't be eaten, since I recommended making tea out of the leaves, but I didn't really see a reference to that, unless I missed it. It referred to strawberry looking plants.

I found several other websites discussing "alpine strawberries", and they basically all said the same so I'm just listing a few.

http://www.laspilitas.com/plants/313.htm
http://www.gardenbed.com/f/1636.cfm
http://www.nhg.com/db/3135.htm

If someone knows if there is a variety that shouldn't be eaten, please let us all know.

My wild strawberries had white flowers so that must be why they were VERY tasteless. I didn't know there were other varieties and couldn't believe people were actually make jam out of them.

Thanks,

Gami
Hi Gami,

Wild strawberries which come from a WHITE flower, when ripe are extremely SWEET and flavorful.

They do not however taste the same as store bought strawberries and many people expect a stronger taste to them, their flavor is far more delicate.

However, the wood strawberry does not have any flavor, and comes from a YELLOW flower and not a white flower

As far as strawberries being poisonous.. there are no poisonous plants that resemble strawberries and non strawberries are poisonous.

http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Pla...trawberry.html

quote: "There are no poisonous plants that resemble strawberries, but there's a related edible plant called the wood strawberry with yellow flowers, and a similar fruit surrounded by hairy sepals (modified leaves), that has no flavor. "

Kitten
 
  #9  
Old 06-01-08, 06:55 PM
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While this thread goes back to 2001, it is always of interest to read about wild strawberries and to clear up the myth about certain wild strawberries being poisonous. Thank you for providing a link for identification. I hope that this post is in no way advertising because advertising is against the rules on this website and can result in banning.
 
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