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Hautbois Strawberry

Fragaria moschata

  • Name also: Musk strawberry
  • Latin synonym: Fragaria muricata
  • Family: Rose Family – Rosaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. With scant runners.
  • Height: 20–35 cm (8–14 in.). Stem hairs spreading sideways–slightly descending oblique.
  • Flower: Plant dioecious (pistillate and staminate flowers on different plants). Corolla regular (actinomorphic), white, 20–30 mm (0.8–0.12 in.) broad; petals five, 10–12 mm (0.4–0.48 in.) long. Calyx 5-lobed; with epicalyx. Stamens 20. Gynoecium separate, pistils several. Inflorescence an umbellate cyme.
  • Leaves: In basal rosette, long-stalked. Blade palmate, with 3 leaflets. Leaflets elliptic, with toothed margins, hairy on both sides, often creased, base of lateral lobes unsymmetrical, central lobe wedge-shaped–blunt.
  • Fruit: Red, juicy, 1–2 cm (0.4–0.8 in.) long, berry almost acheneless (however,= accessory fruit with achenes). Sepals in fruiting stage spreading–descending. Berries rarely develop.
  • Habitat: Old yards, gardens, parks, banks, sometimes inhabited areas near forests. Old fruit plant, often a leftover or escape from cultivation.
  • Flowering time: June.

After pollination and fertilisation the strawberry’s flower has done its job with regards to attracting pollinators, but part of it remains and develops into a delicious strawberry which protects the seeds and on the other hand helps them spread. The fruit is classified in botany according to its structure and the way that it comes into being. Usually the fruit develops from the gynoecium, but strawberry’s fruit is born of the swollen flower-stalk and is called the pome. Strawberry’s numerous carpellary leaves produce small achenes that contain a small seed on the surface of the berry. Strawberry was previously classified as a pseudofruit, but nowadays that funny term has been forgotten as the definition of fruit has become broader.

Hautbois strawberry has been cultivated in Finland. It has remained and also spread around old gardens, manor houses and parsonages. In light and semi-shaded broad-leaved forests and hedgerows it often grows as a native wild plant. Hautbois strawberry’s staminate and pistillate flowers are on different plants and the production of fruit requires that both sexes grow close to each other. Stands which expand through their runners often constitute only one sex, so no fruit forms. Stands in Finland are for some reason predominantly male, as the name hints at.

Nowadays garden strawberry (F. x ananassa), a hybrid between two American species, is responsible for most fruit production. It can thrive as an escape from cultivation in Finland for decades, as can both of its parent plants. Outwith the cultivated strawberry patch its berries are small, however. Hautbois strawberry is reminiscent of garden strawberry with regards to its size and large flowers, but the hairs on its stalk and especially its flower-stalks are peculiarly descending oblique, while garden strawberry’s hairs point upwards or sideways. Hautbois strawberry is clearly bigger and has fewer runners than both wild strawberry (F. vesca) and creamy strawberry (F. viridis).

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

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