[Strawberrys: The Genus Fragaria in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Woodland Strawberry, Wood Strawberry, Woods Strawberry

Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata

Synonyms: Fragaria bracteata, Fragaria crinita, Fragaria helleri, Fragaria vesca var. breateata, Fragaria vesca var. crinita

Woodland Strawberry, Wood Strawberry, Woods Strawberry: Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata (Synonyms: Fragaria bracteata, Fragaria crinita, Fragaria helleri, Fragaria vesca var. breateata, Fragaria vesca var. crinita)

The photo above shows woods strawberry as seen next to the vault toilet at the equestrian trail parking lot, Beacon Rock State Park........April 8, 2016. Note the prominently veined leaf blades.

Flower of Woodland Strawberry, Wood Strawberry, Woods Strawberry: Fragaria vesca var. bracteata (Synonyms: Fragaria bracteata, Fragaria crinita, Fragaria helleri, Fragaria vesca ssp. breateata, Fragaria vesca var. crinita)The photo at right shows a close-up of the flower of woods strawberry as seen on Mt. Adams in mid May, 2005.
Characteristics:

Woods strawberry is a deciduous perennial which is strongly stoloniferous. The stolons arch through the air and form "baby" plants where they come in contact with the ground. The leaves are long petiolate (5-10 cm) with 3 leaflets. The leaflets are thin to fairly thick in cross-section and are broadly elliptic to obovate-oblong in shape. The leaflets are yellow-green in color with prominent venation and the blade surface bulged between veins. The leaflet margins are coarsely toothed.

The inflorescence is a 3-11 flowered cyme with showy white (occasionally pink-tinged) flowers which usually exceeds the height of the leaves. The 5 petals are 8-11 mm long and surround a central cluster of yellow stamens. The fruit is globose, red, and very sweet, and is up to 1 cm wide.


Importance:

Strawberries get their common name from the practice of placing straw about the plants to keep the fruit from touching the ground and spoiling. The fruits are highly prized, and may be eaten raw or cooked in cobblers or jams. A tea made of the leaves is high in Vitamin C. Various small animals eat the berries.


Habitat:

It is found in meadows, light woods, and along streambanks. It is most common through the earliest stages of successional growth.


Range:

Woods strawberry was evidently introduced to North America from Europe during the 1700s. It is now widespread over much of North America. Variety bracteata may now be found from British Columbia south to California along the east side of the Cascades. It may also be found in the Puget Trough and in the Willamette Valley. It is found eastward to Alberta and hence south in the Rockies through Montana and Wyoming to New Mexico.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-4200' from the west end of the gorge to as far east as the Klickitat River.


Woodland Strawberry, Wood Strawberry, Woods Strawberry: Fragaria vesca var. bracteata (Synonyms: Fragaria bracteata, Fragaria crinita, Fragaria helleri, Fragaria vesca ssp. breateata, Fragaria vesca var. crinita) - Woodland Strawberry, Wood Strawberry, Woods Strawberry: Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata (Synonyms: Fragaria bracteata, Fragaria crinita, Fragaria helleri, Fragaria vesca var. breateata, Fragaria vesca var. crinita)

Woodland strawberry as seen at left along the Angels Rest Trail in the Columbia River Gorge..........May 18, 2009. The photo at right shows woodland strawberry as seen at the Camas Patch, Carson, WA........April 23, 2017.

Woodland Strawberry, Wood Strawberry, Woods Strawberry: Fragaria vesca var. bracteata (Synonyms: Fragaria bracteata, Fragaria crinita, Fragaria helleri, Fragaria vesca ssp. breateata, Fragaria vesca var. crinita) - Woodland Strawberry, Wood Strawberry, Woods Strawberry: Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata (Synonyms: Fragaria bracteata, Fragaria crinita, Fragaria helleri, Fragaria vesca var. breateata, Fragaria vesca var. crinita)

A late blooming woodland strawberry as seen at left along the Pacific Crest Trail between the North Bonneville Trailhead and Gillette Lake, Columbia River Gorge..........November 13, 2013. The photo at right shows a blooming woodland strawberry along the Weldon Wagon Trail about one mile east of Husum, WA........April 19, 2018.

Woodland Strawberry, Wood Strawberry, Woods Strawberry: Fragaria vesca var. bracteata (Synonyms: Fragaria bracteata, Fragaria crinita, Fragaria helleri, Fragaria vesca ssp. breateata, Fragaria vesca var. crinita)

The photo above shows woods strawberry as seen on Mt. Adams in mid May, 2005. Note the prominently veined leaf blades.

Paul Slichter