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Creamy Strawberry

Fragaria viridis

  • Family: Rose Family – Rosaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. With runners.
  • Height: 5–20 cm (2–8 in.), runners 1–2 m (40–80 in.) long (sometimes lacking). Stem hairs spreading sideways–descending oblique.
  • Flower: Plant sometimes dioecious (pistillate and staminate flowers on different plants). Corolla regular (actinomorphic), greenish–yellowish white, 15–22 mm (0.6–0.88 in.) broad; petals 5, obovate, round-tipped, not touching each other, 8–10 mm (0.32–0.4 in.) long. Calyx 5-lobed; with epicalyx. Stamens 20. Gynoecium separate, pistils several. Receptacle hairy. Inflorescence a lax cyme.
  • Leaves: In basal rosette, long-stalked. Blade palmate, with 3 leaflets. Leaflets elliptic, teeth tipped, underside densely haired. Tooth at tip of margin smaller than others.
  • Fruit: Reddish–reddish brown, quite compact, matt, hairy, berry has difficulty breaking off at base, achenes on surface at tip of berry (= accessory fruit with achenes); sepals tight against berry in fruiting stage.
  • Habitat: Meadows, rocks, dry meadow river banks, banks, forest margins. Calciphile.
  • Flowering time: May–June.
  • Endangerment: Vulnerable.

Creamy strawberry grows in Finland as an established alien in the Åland Islands and Finland’s south-west coast, where its stands are concentrated in Korppoo and Nauvo on the outer archipelago – the Vikings’ old eastern trade route.

Creamy strawberry thrives like its common and well-known relative wild strawberry (F. vesca) on dry meadows and banks. Many of its habitats have been old settlements and pastures but nowadays cattle are no longer taken outside to graze and their traditional biotopes are in danger of becoming overgrown. The spread of juniper and heather plants eats away at creamy strawberry’s, as well as other traditional plants’, habitats. As it becomes rarer, creamy strawberry is also threatened by the hybrids it produces with wild strawberry: if wild strawberry is clearly more common, creamy strawberry’s stigmas will no doubt receive a lot of the former’s pollen on its stigmas, leaving pure creamy strawberry stands in danger of disappearing.

Compared to wild strawberry, creamy strawberry flowers are noticeably larger and to some extent yellowish. In the fruiting stage the plant’s sepals press against the ripe, hairy strawberry, which doesn’t come free of its stalk as easily as wild strawberry. Creamy strawberry’s fruit is also a paler red and is sweeter, but is not nearly as tasty as wild strawberry. Identifying flowerless plants and hybrids is difficult. Hybrids don’t produce fruit but rather spread with their runners and can become independent. Strawberries are to a certain extent reminiscent of genus Potentilla, but these usually have more leaflets and yellow flowers.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family
Trees and bushes from the same family

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