This section is from the book "Wayside And Woodland Blossoms", by Edward Step. Also available from Amazon: Wayside And Woodland Blossoms: A Guide To British Wild-Flowers.
Well known as the Wild Strawberry is, the Barren Strawberry (Potentilla fragariastrum) when flowering is often mistaken for it. The general resemblance is fairly close, but a botanist can distinguish each at a glance. In each the leaves are divided into three leaflets, the flowers are white and five-parted; but in F. vesca the upper side of the leaf is channelled with sunken nerve-lines, whilst in P. fragariastrum it is smooth. The real strawberry sends off runners with young rooting plants; the false does not. When the fruit is formed there is no longer danger of confounding the two species, for the false plant entirely lacks the fleshiness of the true. The fruit of the Strawberry is a compound one, consisting of a large number of achenes scattered over the enlarged and succulent top (receptacle) of the flower-stalk, beneath which are spread out the persistent green calyx-lobes.
Fragaria vesca. - Rosaceae. -