Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Wild Strawberry - Fragaria virginiana   P. Miller
Members of Rosaceae:
Members of Fragaria with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Rosales » Family Rosaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
AuthorP. Miller
DistributionEssentially statewide, though perhaps absent from a few far eastern counties and very uncomon in the Sandhills proper.

This is a wide-ranging species, present essentially over most of North America, though scarce in most of FL.
AbundanceCommon to very common across the Mountains and Piedmont; generally common in most of the northern half of the Coastal Plain, but infrequent in much of the southern and far eastern portions.
HabitatThis is an open country species, found in sunny to mostly sunny places, such as old fields, wooded borders, powerline clearings, meadows, and other similar places. It can occurs around grassy balds, and other high elevation wooded openings.
PhenologyBlooms from March to June, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThe two species of "wild strawberries" are quite similar, this being very common and familiar, and the other -- F. americana -- being very rare in the state. Each is a short plant, growing barely 6 inches tall, with scattered basal leaves and a flowering stem from this base. Each has leaves as three distinct leaflets, rounded in shape, about 1-1.5 inches long and slightly less wide, with toothed margins. In F. americana, the principal lateral veins diverge from the midrib at roughly an angle of 45 degrees, whereas in this species the lateral veins diverge from the axil at a shallower angle, around 30 degrees. The inflorescences are different; this species has flowers with very similar pedicel lengths and the cluster is rounded or broad (in a corymb); in the rare species, the flowers are in a raceme or panicle, and thus longer than wide. Also, the flowers (5 rounded white to creamy-white petals) of this species are larger than on the other, about 2/3-inch across, whereas flowers of the rare species are small, with a spread of barely 1/2-inch at most. Each species has a small strawberry fruit, but this species has the calyx lobes appressed to the developing fruit, whereas F. americana has them spreading away from the developing fruit. The most obvious characters to look for in this species are the flower cluster that is broad and flattened to rounded, and flowers at least nickel-sized or larger.
Taxonomic CommentsThe species is often divided into subspecies or varieties, but Weakley (2018) does not list other taxa.

Other Common Name(s)Virginia Strawberry
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorriePiedmont, roadside in Iredell Soil area, Carbonton Road. 20 Apr 2022. MoorePhoto_natural
Select a source
Select an occurrence type