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Fragaria vesca, commonly called wild strawberry, woodland strawberry, Alpine strawberry, Carpathian strawberry, European strawberry, or fraisier des bois, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the rose family that grows naturally throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, and that produces edible fruits.
Description & apperance
Five to eleven soft, hairy white flowers are borne on a green, soft-hairy 3–15 centimetres (1.2–5.9 in) stalk that usually lifts them above the leaves. The light-green leaves are trifoliate (in threes) with toothed margins. The plant spreads mostly by means of runners (stolons), but the seeds are viable and establish new populations.
Typical habitat is along trails and roadsides, embankments, hillsides, stone- and gravel-laid paths and roads, meadows, young woodlands, sparse forest, woodland edges, and clearings. Often plants can be found where they do not get sufficient light to form fruit. In the southern part of its range, it can only grow in shady areas; further north it tolerates more sun. It is tolerant of a variety of moisture levels (except very wet or dry conditions). It can survive mild fires and/or establish itself after fires.
Although F. vesca primarily propagates via runners, viable seeds are also found in soil seed banks and seem to germinate when the soil is disturbed (away from existing populations of F. vesca).
Its leaves serve as significant food source for a variety of ungulates, such as mule deer and elk, and the fruit are eaten by a variety of mammals and birds that also help to distribute the seeds in their droppings.
It is a larval host to the two-banded checkered skipper.
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