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Weed Identification

Indian strawberry



Scientific Name

Duchesnea indica

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Potentilla indic
Fragaria indica


Each leaf is composed of three leaflets (trifoliolate). Leaflets are ovate to elliptic, 3/4-3 inches long, 1/3-1 1/2 inches wide, hairy, with rounded teeth (crenate). Individual leaflets are connected to the much longer petiole by very small petiolules (1-6 mm long). Petioles are also hairy.

Identifying Characteristics

Perennial from stolons often found in shady locations. Creeping plants from stolons with trifoliolate leaves and distinctive strawberry-like berry. This weed is similar in appearance to wild strawberry (Frageria virginiana), but wild strawberry has leaflets with pointed teeth on the upper 2/3 to 3/4 of the leaflet only. Additionally, wild strawberry has white flowers, unlike the yellow flowers of Indian mock-strawberry. Certain Cinquefoil species (Potentilla spp.) may also resemble this weed, however sulfur and oldfield cinquefoil have 5 leaflets rather than 3 leaflets of Indian mock-strawberry.

Flower Seed Head

Occur alone on long stalks (peduncles) that arise from the region between the stem and leaf petioles (leaf axils). Flowers consist of 5 yellow petals with large leafy sepals beneath.

Seed Fruit

Cotyledons slightly thickened, with hairs along the margins only. First two or three leaves simple, subsequent leaves trifoliate. Stolons develop at least by the time the fifth leaf emerges.A red, fleshy, berry, similar to the commercially produced strawberries. The surface of the fruit contains many small pits (achenes).

Where Found

Primarily a weed of landscapes and turfgrass found throughout the southeastern United States.

Growth Habit

upright and nonwoody
prostrate and nonwoody

Thorns or Spines

not present

Approximate Flower Diameter


Dominant Flower Color


Flower Symmetry

radial symmetery

Leaf Hairs

has hairs

Leaf Shape


Leaf Arrangement


Leaf Margin


Leaf Structure


Leaf Stalk

longer than leaf

Stem Hairs

no hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Root Structure


Life Cycle



not present

Plant Type