Scientific Name: Duchesnea indica

Common Name: Indian strawberry

Synonyms: Fragaria indica, Potentilla indic

Leaves: 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.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Rosaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: oval

  • Leaf margin: wavy

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: yellow

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody; prostrate and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: trifoliate

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Flower diameter: dime

  • Leaf stalk: longer than leaf