Name from the fragrance of the fruit.
Stemless perennial. Forming little dark green tufts in scattered patches in fields, pastures, and along roadsides. Nova Scotia to the Dakotas, and south to Florida and Louisiana. April-June, often in October.
Fibrous, sending out many runners, which root at their tips or nodes.
Hairy, two to four inches high, bearing several flowers at the summit on short pedicels.
Basal, compound; leaflets three, obovate, wedge-shaped, coarsely serrate.
White, rose-shaped, three-fourths of an inch across.
Five sepals, alternate with five bracts, which show between the petals.
Petals five, rounded, short-clawed.
Many, forming a green, cone-shaped centre.
Composed of an enlarged receptacle, or top of the flower-stem, which becomes pulpy and scarlet, bearing the minute dry akenes scattered over its surface.
"Doubtless God could have made a better berry than the strawberry, but doubtless God never did." - Izaak Walton.
"My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn I saw good strawberries in your garden there." - "Henry V," Shakespeare.
In earliest Anglo-Saxon this plant was called streow-berie, and later straberry from the peculiarity of its straying runners, lying as if strewn on the ground; possibly that is the origin of the English name.
Wild Strawberry. Fragaria Virginiana
Among the blossoms of our open fields one of the prettiest is that of the Wild Strawberry; little white roses set among shining green leaves close to the ground. Each little blossom has five rounded white petals, many orange-yellow stamens, and a green heart. The Wild Strawberry blossoms are usually perfect, that is, have both stamens and pistils, but the blossoms of the cultivated Strawberry frequently have pistils and stamens in different flowers.
To a botanist the fruit of the Strawberry is not a berry, that definition being limited to fruits having a juicy pulp and containing many seeds, like the currant or the grape. The body of the Strawberry is the enlarged top of the flower-stem, and this bears the seeds of the plant in shallow pits on its surface. These seeds are so small that we do not notice them when eating the fruit, but each one is a tiny nut, almond-shaped and containing within its shell the seed which will produce future plants.
The northern Wild Strawberry, Fragaria Americana, frequently appears at the edge of woods and in rocky places. This is the more delicate species, the leaves thinner and lighter, and the cluster of flowers rises above the leaves. The fruit is slender and pointed, often with a neck, and of most delicious flavor; the seed-like akenes apparently stick to the surface of the the berry, and are not sunk in the pits.
Frequent in northern Ohio, but not abundant.