Wild Strawberries

Palm Sunday sunrise began a stunning morning. Another blissfully beautiful day!

This week I glimpsed the first flowers on wild strawberry plants. Some of these plants are in a sloping bed heading downhill from the perennial garden toward the garden shed. Mixed with ajuga and yarrow, the plants will be providing berries for the birds, and possibly for us as well! They’re also in a hillside bed beneath four hydrangea bushes, and a few are in the perennial garden. Every variety I’ve seen in our garden spreads by runners which produce offshoots called stolons, and all are evergreen at Coppertop.

The charming color surprised me:

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These may be a ground cover variety called Lipstick. I’ve read that some pink-flowered strawberries do not send runners though, and resources conflict about which ones.

The plants in a corner of the perennial garden:

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We await the blooms on our cultivated strawberry beds. All cultivars were developed from wild strawberries.

As I’ve continued researching the seemingly countless varieties of strawberries – Fragaria – I’ve learned that tasteless “mock strawberries” come from the yellow flowered variety. Wild strawberries- Fragaria virginiana –  with white flowers go by many names, yet all are from the same family; they might be called mountain, alpine, woodland, or even European. This resource is one that has helped me learn about the native varieties:   http://www.portlandnursery.com/plants/natives/fragaria.shtml

 

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