[Wild Strawberries West of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Beach Strawberry, Coastal Strawberry, Chilean Strawberry, Pacific Beach Strawberry

Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica

Beach Strawberry: Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica

Beach strawberry as seen on the beach at Bayview Jetty County Park on the northern Oregon coast..............May 22, 2009.

Characteristics:

Beach strawberry is an attractive perennial suitable for coastal as well as inland gardens. The stolons are reddish-purple in color and covered with thick, silky hairs. The leaves are largely basal and are 3-10 cm long, shiny green above and hairy and pale below. The leaves are ternate compound with 3 petiolate leaflets. The leaflets are obovate to cuneate-obovate in shape and coarsely-toothed on the margins. The petioles are hairy, reddish-purple, and from 4-10 cm long.

The cymes are few-flowered with 5-15 flowers. The calyx is very silky with lanceolate sepals up to 10 mm long. The 5 petals are white, 12-16 mm long, and obovate-orbicular in shape. The fruit is fleshy and at least 1.5 cm wide.


Importance:

It is one of the parent plants of many of the cultivated varieties of strawberries. 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. With its dark, shiny green leaflets, it makes an attractive ground cover.


Habitat:

Beach strawberry is found along the coast on sandy bluffs and dry plains.


Range:

Beach strawberry may be found along the coast from Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca south to South America, and in the Hawaiian Islands.


Trifoliate leaf of Beach Strawberry: Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica - Beach Strawberry: Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica

Beach strawberry as seen on the beach at Seaside, OR..............May 21, 2009.

Beach Strawberry, Coastal Strawberry, Chilean Strawberry, Pacific Beach Strawberry: Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica - Beach Strawberry, Coastal Strawberry, Chilean Strawberry, Pacific Beach Strawberry: Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica - Beach Strawberry, Coastal Strawberry, Chilean Strawberry, Pacific Beach Strawberry: Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica

Early-blooming beach strawberries as seen on the beach side of Bay Ocean Spit, Tillamook County, Oregon..........February 17, 2015. The photo at right was taken at the same location on April 7, 2015.

Beach Strawberry: Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica - Beach Strawberry, Coastal Strawberry, Chilean Strawberry, Pacific Beach Strawberry: Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica

Beach strawberry as seen (left) on the beach at Seaside, OR..............May 21, 2009. The photo at right shows an early-blooming beach strawberry as seen on the beach side of Bay Ocean Spit, Tillamook County, Oregon..........February 8,, 2016. Note the ant on the flower. A potential early pollinator?

Basal leaves of Beach Strawberry, Coastal Strawberry, Chilean Strawberry, Pacific Beach Strawberry: Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica

Basal leaves of beach strawberry as seen at the upper end of the beach at Nehalem Bay State Park, northern Oregon Coast.........January 1, 2016.

Paul Slichter