Fragaria vesca woodland-, wood-, alpine-, or European wild strawberry, is a low-growing woody perennial in the Rosaceae (rose family) native north temperate regions of Eurasia and North America. The fruits are often collected in the wild, and this species is the source of several strawberry cultivars used commercially and in home gardens (most likely including the cultivars ‘Alpine,’ ‘Everbearing,’ and ‘Perpetual’), although the bulk of commercial strawberry production is yielded by F.X ananassa, the garden or pineapple strawberry, which is a hybrid of F. virginiana and F. chiloensis.
F. vesca plants grow to around 0.3 m (1 ft) high, short, woody stems and a basal rosette of compound leaves, with 3 coarsely toothed leaflets around 6 cm (2.5 in) long. The plants are characterized by long arching runners or stolons, which form new plantlets at the tip, and that allow them to reproduce vegetatively as well as by seed. The small, white, 5-parted flowers, 1.25 to 2 cm (0.5 to 0.75 in), occur in small clusters. The strawberries formed in the wild, uncultivated types are quite small, 1 to 2 cm (0.25 to 0.75 in) across, and generally ripen to red (although there is a white form) The strawberry is not a true berry, but is a fleshy receptable bearing multiple fruits on the surface—these apparent seeds are actually achenes, small, one-seeded fruits with hard coverings that do not split open (dehisce) when ripe. F. vesca can be distinguished from the often co-occurring Virginia strawberry (F. virginia because its the achenes project from the surface, rather occurring in deep pits, as in F. virginiana.
Strawberries are often eaten as a fresh fruit, famously in strawberry shortcake, and are also processed into ice creams, jams and preserves, mousses, fruit juice, and various baked goods and candies. Strawberries may also be fermented into wine or liqueur (such as the Italian fragoli).
In the wild, this species generally grows at altitudes of 2000 m or less. It has a wide distribution in North America as well as Europe, and may grow in partial shade in hardwood, conifer, and mixed forests, as well swamps and swamp edges, rocky savanna, and chaparral.
(Bailey et al. 1976, Flora of China 2012, Michigan Flora Online 2011, USDA 2006, van Wyk 2005.)
General: Rose Family (Rosaceae). This herbaceous perennial plant spreads by seed, short rhizomes and leafless stolons. The toothed leaves are thin and basal with a petiole generally 3-12 cm. They appear in leaflets of 3 and are sparsely hairy above. The flowers have 5 white petals with numerous pistils and 20-35 stamens. The five bractlets are often 2-lobed. The red fleshy fruit is covered with achenes.
Woodland strawberry; California strawberry
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
In the western United States, woods strawberry is distributed from Washington south to California, Arizona, New Mexico [28,37,59,72,78,90,108,157,173,175], and the Guadalupe Mountains of western Texas [37,86]; and east through the Rocky Mountain region [23,37,38,49,62,81,99,171,172,173] and the Black Hills [47,95,162]. Cronquist and others  suggest that woods strawberry is "seemingly absent from the western Â¾ of the Great Basin", despite indications that its occurrence has been recorded in Nevada [37,81]. It occurs somewhat infrequently in the northern Great Plains, south to Nebraska [63,74]. In the eastern United States, woods strawberry is distributed from the Lake States east to coastal New England, and south to Missouri, Tennessee, and North Carolina [6,61,63,65,111,126,134,141,155,176]. Kartesz and Meacham  indicate the possibility that it also occurs in Mississippi. Woods strawberry is introduced in Hawaii . Plants Database provides state distribution maps for woods strawberry and its infrataxa.
In Canada, woods strawberry occurs from coastal British Columbia east to Newfoundland [37,61,72,79,80,90,107,125,134,134,173], as well as in Northwest Territories . It also occurs in Baja California, Mexico [37,78,108,175].
Globally, woods strawberry distribution is circumboreal [98,99]. While it is widely considered a native species in North America, at least some populations may originate from introduced European stock [61,111,141], especially in the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada [61,80,134,141], and the northern Great Plains .
Comprehensive surveys examining the presence or absence of woods strawberry within the following biogeographic vegetation schemes are not available. These lists represent a "best estimate" of woods strawberry occurrence based on information obtained from floras and other literature, herbarium samples, and confirmed observations.
States or Provinces
Regional Distribution in the Western United States
This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):
BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :
1 Northern Pacific Border
2 Cascade Mountains
3 Southern Pacific Border
4 Sierra Mountains
5 Columbia Plateau
6 Upper Basin and Range
7 Lower Basin and Range
8 Northern Rocky Mountains
9 Middle Rocky Mountains
10 Wyoming Basin
11 Southern Rocky Mountains
12 Colorado Plateau
13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont
14 Great Plains
15 Black Hills Uplift
16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands
For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site. It is found in northwestern California, the Cascade Ranges, the Sierra Nevada, central-western California, San Bernardino Mountains, Peninsular Ranges, to eastern North America, and south to Baja California and also Europe.
This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available (e.g., [27,37,47,48,49,61,62,63,78,79,80,90,99,108, 111,126,134,154,167,172,173,176]).
Woods strawberry is a low-growing, deciduous perennial herb [6,27,37,62,63,72,73,90,99,108,120,126,145,154, 173,175], with petioles and flowering stems typically arising from a single crown in rosette form. Occasionally a single crown may split into 2 or more crowns by the development of an axillary meristem, but production of leaves and flowers is generally restricted to a single meristematic axis in each ramet . Petioles are generally 0.3 to 6.9 inches (0.8-17.5 cm) long [37,78,80,173], with flowering stems often shorter . Leaves are basal and palmately trifoliate [37,62,63,72,78,79,80,90,99,108,120,141,145,154, 173,175], with leaflets 0.5 to 2.6 inches (1.3-6.5 cm) long and 0.5 to 2.8 inches (1.3- 7.0 cm) wide [37,78,108,145,173], the terminal leaflet being largest [37,173]. Flowers of Fragaria vesca ssp. vesca, F. v. ssp. americana, and F. v. ssp. californica are exclusively perfect, while F. v. ssp. bracteata produces occasional female-only plants . Fleshy fruits are up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) thick and covered with 0.05 inch (1.3-1.4 mm) long achenes [37,62,78,80,108,126,173]. Crowns arise from short rhizomes [63,78,90,99,108,126], spreading and forming colonies by stolons that root and produce plantlets at the nodes [37,47,62,63,72,73,78,80,90,99,108,120,126,145, 154,173,175].
Habitat: Woods strawberry occupies a variety of habitats throughout its range. In the eastern United States and Canada, it commonly occurs in forest or woodland habitats (e.g. [6,51,111,141,154,167]). In the southeastern United States woods strawberry may be largely restricted to the rich, moist forests of the mountains [126,176]. Further north, there are also accounts of its occurrence in more open habitats such as old fields, meadows and grasslands [25,36,116,154]. In the northern Great Plains, woods strawberry is associated with woodland and riparian habitats [63,74].
In western North America, woods strawberry also commonly occurs in, but is not always restricted to, wooded or forested habitats. Although comprehensive surveys are lacking, it appears that woods strawberry can be found in all but the driest forest types in the western United States. Woods strawberry occurrence in forested habitats in this region is often associated with relatively recent disturbance. Examples include forest openings [27,62,72,122], roadsides [71,105], and recently cleared or early successional forest  (also see Successional Status below). Woods strawberry occurrence in western North America is also documented in meadows [47,48,49,79,108], open slopes [73,108], prairie-woodland mosaics , forest margins , and margins of meadows . Reed  mentions woods strawberry occurrence in big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) habitats in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, although to date (2007) this is the only example encountered for this habitat.
Elevation: In mountainous western North America, woods strawberry occurrence has been reported from a wide range of elevations. Examples of such reports include: "low" to subalpine along the Pacific Northwest coast , "low to middle elevations" in Glacier National Park , and valley bottom to lower subalpine in west-central Montana . Knight and others  indicated that woods strawberry's preferred habitat in the Medicine Bow Mountains of northern Colorado/southern Wyoming is "higher elevation, mesic sites."
The following table lists published accounts of elevation ranges where woods strawberry occurs in western North America. These examples are not necessarily elevational limits to woods strawberry distribution, but rather a range of elevations, particularly upper elevations, where woods strawberry might occur.
|east-central and southeastern Arizona||7,000 to 9,500 feet (2,100-2,900 m) |
|southeastern Arizona||>9,200 feet (2,800 m) |
|southern Arizona||7,900 to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) |
|California||100 to 6,500 feet (30-2,000 m) |
|Sierra Nevada Range, California||<6,000 feet (1,800 m) |
|Colorado||5,000 to 9,500 feet (1,500-2,900 m) |
|near Crested Butte, Colorado||8,500 to 12,500 feet (2,600-3,800 m) |
|west-central Idaho||5,000 to 7,800 feet (1,500-2,400 m) |
|New Mexico||6,500 to 10,000 feet (2,000-3,000 m) |
|Utah||6,000 to 10,500 feet (1,800-3,200 m) |
|Uinta Basin, Utah||7,000 to 10,500 feet (2,100-3,200 m) |
|Cascade and Olympic Mountains, Washington||up to 4,000 feet (1,200 m) [79,80]|
|northwestern Wyoming||7,900 feet (2,400 m) |
|Intermountain West||5,900 to 7,900 feet (1800-2400 m) |
|Yellowstone National Park||6,000 to 7,600 feet (1,800-2,300 m) |
|Baja California||"higher foothills to about" 8,200 feet (2,500 m) |
The following table provides woods strawberry distribution data by elevation in the Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon and California, and is adapted from .
|Elevation range (feet)||1,500-2,500||2,500-3,500||3,500-4,500||4,500-5,500||5,500-6,300||6,300-7,000|
|Percent frequency of occurrence||0.6||1.1||5.9||10.2||7.0||4.5|
As of this writing (2007) there is no published information regarding elevation and woods strawberry distribution in eastern North America.
Moisture: Based on general information contained in site descriptions, habitat types, etc., it appears that woods strawberry occurs under a wide range of moisture conditions, although it is probably not tolerant of extremely wet or dry conditions. Although comprehensive, rangewide information about moisture conditions for woods strawberry habitat is lacking, the following descriptions provide some guidelines, at least for parts of the western United States. Lackschewitz  indicated that woods strawberry occurs on sites in west-central Montana that are mesic (adequate moisture during all or most of the growing season, but rarely if ever flooded) to meso-xeric (moisture abundant in the early growing season but dry later on). Franklin and Dyrness  indicated that woods strawberry is more common in warm, dry forests, less common in cool, moist forests, and rare to nonexistent in cold, moist forests of the South Umpqua River valley, western Oregon.
Key Plant Community Associations
Vegetation classifications describing plant communities where woods strawberry is a dominant species include:
- planeleaf willow (Salix planifolia)/white marsh marigold (Caltha leptosephala) habitat
type, tall fringed bluebells (Mertensia ciliata)-woods strawberry phase 
- blue spruce (Picea Pungens)/woods strawberry 
- Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana)/woods strawberry 
- Woods strawberry is listed as a principal indicator species in the following vegetation
- Grand fir (Abies grandis)/white spirea (Spiraea betulifolia)
- Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)/pinegrass (Calamagrostis rubescens)
- Douglas-fir/ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus)
- Douglas-fir/white spirea
- Douglas-fir/mountain snowberry (Symphoricarpos oreophilus) 
- interior ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum/shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora
floribunda)-common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)/woods strawberry 
Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types
This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):
More info for the term: cover
SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES :
109 Ponderosa pine shrubland
201 Blue oak woodland
202 Coast live oak woodland
203 Riparian woodland
204 North coastal shrub
213 Alpine grassland
216 Montane meadows
409 Tall forb
410 Alpine rangeland
411 Aspen woodland
413 Gambel oak
418 Bigtooth maple
Habitat: Cover Types
This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):
More info for the term: cover
SAF COVER TYPES :
1 Jack pine
5 Balsam fir
12 Black spruce
13 Black spruce-tamarack
14 Northern pin oak
15 Red pine
17 Pin cherry
18 Paper birch
19 Gray birch-red maple
20 White pine-northern red oak-red maple
21 Eastern white pine
22 White pine-hemlock
23 Eastern hemlock
24 Hemlock-yellow birch
25 Sugar maple-beech-yellow birch
26 Sugar maple-basswood
27 Sugar maple
28 Black cherry-maple
30 Red spruce-yellow birch
31 Red spruce-sugar maple-beech
32 Red spruce
33 Red spruce-balsam fir
35 Paper birch-red spruce-balsam fir
37 Northern white-cedar
39 Black ash-American elm-red maple
42 Bur oak
43 Bear oak
44 Chestnut oak
45 Pitch pine
46 Eastern redcedar
50 Black locust
51 White pine-chestnut oak
52 White oak-black oak-northern red oak
53 White oak
55 Northern red oak
58 Yellow-poplar-eastern hemlock
59 Yellow-poplar-white oak-northern red oak
60 Beech-sugar maple
61 River birch-sycamore
62 Silver maple-American elm
65 Pin oak-sweetgum
75 Shortleaf pine
76 Shortleaf pine-oak
78 Virginia pine-oak
79 Virginia pine
80 Loblolly pine-shortleaf pine
81 Loblolly pine
82 Loblolly pine-hardwood
93 Sugarberry-American elm-green ash
94 Sycamore-sweetgum-American elm
95 Black willow
97 Atlantic white-cedar
107 White spruce
108 Red maple
110 Black oak
201 White spruce
202 White spruce-paper birch
203 Balsam poplar
204 Black spruce
205 Mountain hemlock
206 Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir
207 Red fir
208 Whitebark pine
209 Bristlecone pine
210 Interior Douglas-fir
211 White fir
212 Western larch
213 Grand fir
215 Western white pine
216 Blue spruce
218 Lodgepole pine
219 Limber pine
220 Rocky Mountain juniper
221 Red alder
222 Black cottonwood-willow
224 Western hemlock
226 Coastal true fir-hemlock
227 Western redcedar-western hemlock
228 Western redcedar
229 Pacific Douglas-fir
230 Douglas-fir-western hemlock
233 Oregon white oak
234 Douglas-fir-tanoak-Pacific madrone
236 Bur oak
237 Interior ponderosa pine
238 Western juniper
243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer
244 Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir
245 Pacific ponderosa pine
246 California black oak
247 Jeffrey pine
248 Knobcone pine
249 Canyon live oak
250 Blue oak-foothills pine
251 White spruce-aspen
252 Paper birch
253 Black spruce-white spruce
254 Black spruce-paper birch
255 California coast live oak
256 California mixed subalpine
Habitat: Plant Associations
This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):
More info for the terms: bog, shrub
KUCHLER  PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:
K002 Cedar-hemlock-Douglas-fir forest
K003 Silver fir-Douglas-fir forest
K004 Fir-hemlock forest
K005 Mixed conifer forest
K006 Redwood forest
K007 Red fir forest
K008 Lodgepole pine-subalpine forest
K010 Ponderosa shrub forest
K011 Western ponderosa forest
K012 Douglas-fir forest
K013 Cedar-hemlock-pine forest
K014 Grand fir-Douglas-fir forest
K015 Western spruce-fir forest
K016 Eastern ponderosa forest
K017 Black Hills pine forest
K018 Pine-Douglas-fir forest
K019 Arizona pine forest
K020 Spruce-fir-Douglas-fir forest
K021 Southwestern spruce-fir forest
K022 Great Basin pine forest
K025 Alder-ash forest
K026 Oregon oakwoods
K028 Mosaic of K002 and K026
K029 California mixed evergreen forest
K030 California oakwoods
K031 Oak-juniper woodland
K032 Transition between K031 and K037
K034 Montane chaparral
K036 Mosaic of K030 and K035
K037 Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub
K081 Oak savanna
K082 Mosaic of K074 and K100
K093 Great Lakes spruce-fir forest
K094 Conifer bog
K095 Great Lakes pine forest
K096 Northeastern spruce-fir forest
K098 Northern floodplain forest
K099 Maple-basswood forest
K100 Oak-hickory forest
K101 Elm-ash forest
K102 Beech-maple forest
K103 Mixed mesophytic forest
K104 Appalachian oak forest
K106 Northern hardwoods
K107 Northern hardwoods-fir forest
K108 Northern hardwoods-spruce forest
K109 Transition between K104 and K106
K110 Northeastern oak-pine forest
This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):
FRES10 White-red-jack pine
FRES13 Loblolly-shortleaf pine
FRES21 Ponderosa pine
FRES22 Western white pine
FRES24 Hemlock-Sitka spruce
FRES26 Lodgepole pine
FRES28 Western hardwoods
FRES30 Desert shrub
FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe
FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub
FRES37 Mountain meadows
FRES38 Plains grasslands
FRES40 Desert grasslands
FRES41 Wet grasslands
Habitat & Distribution
Adaptation: This plant is found below 2000 m in partial shade of closed-cone pine, evergreen, mixed conifer forests, and chaparral and has a very wide distribution.
Planting: Dig up plantlets or runners and plant them in pots in summer, make sure to cover the stems and roots in soil. Place the pots in a hothouse to establish good, strong roots. Water the plants or runners and keep them moist. Plant the seedlings outdoors in the ground in the fall or winter after the rains have started. They should be planted in full sun in a light, loose soil, about ten inches apart. It will not take long for the plants to make a complete ground cover. Lightly fertilize the plants during the growing season. Note that those plants that have bigger flowers usually have less fruit while those with smaller flowers have more fruit. Protect the plants from gophers, deer, squirrels, raccoons, and other wildlife.
crowded acervulus of Marssonina coelomycetous anamorph of Diplocarpon earlianum causes spots on live leaf of Fragaria vesca
Foodplant / feeds on
Harpalus rufipes feeds on seed of Fragaria vesca
Other: major host/prey
In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / spot causer
epiphyllous, widely scattered pycnidium of Phyllosticta coelomycetous anamorph of Phyllosticta fragariicola causes spots on live leaf of Fragaria vesca
Foodplant / parasite
Podosphaera aphanis parasitises live Fragaria vesca
Foodplant / spot causer
epiphyllous, very minute, immersed, smoky fuscous pycnidium of Septoria coelomycetous anamorph of Septoria fragariae causes spots on live fruit of Fragaria vesca
Remarks: season: 7-8
Fire Management Considerations
As of this writing (2007) there is little published information specifically concerning the simultaneous management of woods strawberry and fire. It should be noted that woods strawberry occurs within a variety of plant communities and ecosystems that represent many types of FIRE REGIMES.
It has been suggested that woods strawberry might be an important species for mitigating postfire erosion potential. From observations of postfire shrubfields in northern Idaho, Hooker and Tisdale  wrote that woods strawberry "appeared to have an important stabilizing influence on the surface soils of the steeper slopes, since it was abundant after burning and sent out numerous stolons."
Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire
More info for the terms: cover, duff, fire severity, frequency, fuel, fuel moisture, litter, mixed-severity fire, prescribed fire, presence, restoration, severity, stand-replacing fire, wildfire
While some studies indicate greater abundance of woods strawberry on burned versus unburned plots [113,118],
other studies indicate an initial postfire decrease in woods strawberry abundance [104,159] and/or an increase
in abundance 3 or more years after fire [2,117,154]. Still others report more equivocal results (e.g., [3,96]).
Reported differences may be due to a number of factors, including differences in sampling protocols. For
example, some studies compare paired burned and unburned plots at some time after fire, while others compare
prefire abundance to postfire abundance over varying numbers of years. Additionally, some studies suggest a
correlation between fire severity and woods strawberry response [19,20,82,143], while fire severity estimates
are not consistently reported in other studies. It should also be noted that other factors besides fire
severity may affect species-specific postfire response. Hypothetically, factors such as the character of the
competing vegetation, herbivory, and additional disturbance such as flooding/debris flow may interact with the
effects of fire. Interactions between such factors can confound interpretation of postfire data, leading to
Two studies demonstrate greater woods strawberry presence on burned sites, compared with adjacent unburned
habitat. Ten to 11 years after a 1945 wildfire in the Oregon Coast Range, frequency of woods strawberry in
burned quadrats was 9%, while none was sampled in unburned forest. The unburned forest was estimated at around
300 years old, composed mainly of Douglas-fir succeeding to western hemlock. Burn characteristics were not well
described, although it was apparently a predominantly stand-replacing fire . Similarly, woods strawberry
was most prevalent (7% cover; 40% frequency) in a 4-year-old burned stand compared to mature (230 to 320 years
old) and second-growth (53 to 80 years old) stands in Douglas-fir-western hemlock/Pacific rhododendron
(Rhododendron macrophyllum) communities on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. Although no details were
provided about burn conditions, vegetation data indicate that it was a stand-replacing fire in what was
previously mature forest. Woods strawberry was not present in any of the 13 sampled stands of mature forest.
It was present but sparse (<1% cover and frequency) in 3 second-growth stands. It was not clear what type
of disturbance initiated the second-growth stands .
Other studies show a reduction in woods strawberry in burned plots compared with unburned plots in early
postfire years. Three years after the 1979 Ship Island Burn in the Middle Fork Salmon River drainage, central
Idaho, woods strawberry cover was significantly (P<0.05) lower in burned plots compared with paired
unburned plots . Leege and Godbolt  studied herbaceous response to prescribed burning and grass-seeding treatments to improve elk winter range in shrub-dominated habitat in north-central Idaho. Prescribed
burning was conducted in mid-May, and all vegetation sampling took place in July or August. General burn
conditions are provided in , but information concerning fire behavior or severity was not. Their data show
woods strawberry was less frequent on burned plots than unburned plots.
|Woods strawberry frequency of occurrence within each of ten 2-foot (61 cm) |
diameter circular measurement plots, 1 year prior to burning and 1, 2, and 4 years after burning (adapted
Woods strawberry populations in postfire plots in these 2 studies may still have been recovering. It is
unknown whether woods strawberry frequency increased on these sites in subsequent years.
Some studies indicate that populations of woods strawberry generally remain relatively low in the early
postfire environment and begin increasing after 2 or more years [2,117,154]. These studies do not, however,
provide information on abundance of woods strawberry before fire or in paired unburned plots. Following the
Little Sioux Wildfire in northeastern Minnesota in 1971, vegetation data were collected from seventy 0.605 mÂ²
plots each August for 5 years. No other information about the fire was provided .
Total number of woods strawberry plants sampled each August after a 1971 wildfire in
northeastern Minnesota 
Ahlgren  suggested that in forests of the north-central United States and adjacent central Canada, woods
strawberry increases gradually for several years following fire, peaking during the 5- to 10-year postfire
period, and subsequently declining.
|Average percent cover of woods strawberry in Âburned-over jack |
pine (Pinus banksiana)-black spruce (Picea mariana) forests in northeastern Minnesota at
different intervals after fire" (adapted from )
|Years after fire||1||2||3||4||5||10||15||20||30||50||80|
|Average percent cover (%)||1||2||2||3||4||5||1||1||1||1||1|
Twenty years of woods strawberry cover data were collected each July following the Plant Creek wildfire that
burned in late August 1972 in the Sapphire Range, western Montana. These data indicate that woods strawberry
was absent for 3 to 17 years following the fire, but eventually established in 9 of 10 study areas. Woods
strawberry cover never exceeded 5% on any study area during this time. Prefire data were not provided, so it is
not known if these populations were of sprout or seed origin .
|Number of postfire study areas (out of 10 total) containing woods strawberry |
(adapted from ).
|Number of study areas||0||0||0||2||2||3||2||4||4||4||4||6||3||5||6||5||5||6||8||7|
Another study showed conflicting results. Postfire response of woods strawberry differed between 2 northern
Minnesota mixed conifer-hardwood forest sites. One site was a 10-year-old jack pine plantation burned by
wildfire in a late April 1952, and the other site was dominated by jack pine and black spruce and burned by
wildfire in July 1955. An unburned mixed conifer-hardwood site, dominated by black spruce, jack pine, and paper
birch, served as a contol. Little information about fire behavior or burn conditions was provided, although the
authors noted that "little or no soil burn occurred" .
|Woods strawberry percent frequency within thirty 10 mÂ² plots on |
each site (adapted from )
|Mixed conifer-hardwood (unburned)||Jack pine (years after burn)||Jack pine-black spruce (years after burn)|
|1956||1965||1954 (3)||1956 (5)||1965 (14)||1956 (2)||1959 (5)||1965 (11)|
Fire severity, particularly fire residence time and magnitude of the downward heat pulse associated with
the fire, is likely to impact woods strawberry survival and postfire response. Greater fire severity is
associated with increased duff consumption, greater soil heating, and consequently, reduced woods strawberry
survival. For example, Hooker and Tisdale  indicated that woods strawberry increased following "low
intensity" prescribed fire in a northern Idaho shrubland, but did not "benefit" from "more
intense" fire. On shelterwood cutting units in a northern Idaho mixed conifer forest, woods strawberry
postfire year 1 cover was slightly lower on a site burned under dry fuel conditions than on a site burned under
moist fuel conditions. Differences in fuel moisture between treatments were primarily attributable to duff
moisture levels (88% for the moist treatment; 41% for the dry treatment). Average duff consumption was 30%
for the moist burn, compared with 90% for the dry burn, indicating higher fire severity on the dry burn site.
More detailed burn conditions and fire behavior information are available in .
|Woods strawberry cover during summer just prior to treatment and 1 year |
after burning (adapted from )
Following prescribed fires in western Wyoming quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) communities, woods
strawberry biomass decreased with increasing severity 3 years after fire. This pattern was less consistent in
postfire year 12 [19,20].
|Woods strawberry production before, 3 years after, and 12 years after fires of |
varied severitya (adapted from [19,20]). Prefire production was 108 kg/ha.
Years after fire
|Light||94 kg/ha||75 kg/ha|
|Moderate||78 kg/ha||14 kg/ha|
|Heavy||51 kg/ha||45 kg/ha|
a Light burns indicate an estimated 0% to 20% of litter and duff consumed
Moderate burns indicate an estimated 20% to 80% of litter and duff consumed
Heavy burns indicate an estimated 81% to 100% of litter and duff consumed
Further evidence linking fire severity with woods strawberry's postfire response is provided by Wang and
Kimball , who examined vegetation response following a wildfire in a boreal mixedwood forest codominated
by quaking aspen and a mixture of balsam fir (Abies balsamea), white spruce (Picea glauca),
black spruce and/or jack pine.
|Average woods strawberry cover and frequency over 4 postfire years |
aScorched indicates litter not burned or partially burned
bLightly burned indicates litter burned but with little to no duff consumption
cSeverely burned indicates forest floor completely consumed; organic matter in upper mineral
soil horizon may also be partially consumed
Two northern Minnesota studies also indicate a stronger woods strawberry postfire response when fire is
less severe. At 2 jack pine forest sites that were logged and then burned 1 year later, frequency of woods
strawberry was similar before cutting and burning (80-83%) but differed between sites after treatment.
Differences in fire severity might explain lower frequency of woods strawberry at the Grass Lake site
(3-13%, 1-2 years after fire) compared with the East Bearskin Lake site (57-83%, 1-2 years after fire).
Temperatures reached at the soil surface were, on average, greater than 900Â° F (480Â° C) at the Grass Lake site
and less than that at the East Bearskin Lake site . In another northern Minnesota study conducted in several
forest types, woods strawberry frequency tended to be higher on burned versus unburned plots, although frequency
was lower on a severe burn versus a burn of moderate severity at one site . Lack of prefire information and
mixed sampling approaches among sites make results from this study difficult to interpret.
On ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir communities in the Blue Mountains
of northeastern Oregon, woods strawberry cover and frequency were higher
on unburned control sites than on prescribed
burned, thinned, or thinned-and-burned sites. Woods strawberry was determined to be
an indicator species for unburned sites (P≤0.05).
For further information on the effects of thinning and burning treatments on woods strawberry and 48 other species, see the Research Project Summary of Youngblood and others'  study.
These fire studies also provide information on postfire responses of plant species in communities that include woods strawberry:
Plant Response to Fire
Several studies have demonstrated an increase in woods strawberry populations following fire (see Discussion and Qualification of Plant Response below). Although published accounts indicate that, in general, woods strawberry populations increase following disturbance, including fire, to date (2007) there are no studies that explicitly compare the importance of vegetative spread with seedling establishment in postdisturbance population growth (see Successional Status). Ahlgren [3,4] observed both woods strawberry seedling establishment and vegetative sprouting, in about equal numbers, in postfire experiment plots in northeastern Minnesota.
To the extent that woods strawberry plants can survive fire, or that seedlings can establish in the postfire environment, it is apparent that fire can have a positive effect on woods strawberry populations. A review by Patterson and others  indicated that it regenerates from stolons following fire, reaching preburn levels within 3 to 7 years. Using the nomenclature of Volland and Dell , Powell  rated woods strawberry postfire response as medium, suggesting it will regain its preburn frequency or cover in 5 to 10 years.
Immediate Effect of Fire
Although detailed accounts are lacking, it is likely that woods strawberry is top-killed by fire. It is also apparent that woods strawberry survives fire when meristematic tissues are protected from heat damage by moist soil and duff layers  (also see Fire adaptations). Using the nomenclature of Volland and Dell , Powell  indicated that woods strawberry has a fire resistance rating of medium (35% to 64% chance that 50% of the population will survive or immediately reestablish after passage of a fire with an average flame length of 12 inches (0.3 m)). Patterson and others  characterized its "resistance" to fire as "moderate to low".
POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :
Surface rhizome/chamaephytic root crown in organic mantle or on soil surface
Caudex/herbaceous root crown, growing points in soil
Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
Initial off-site colonizer (off-site, initial community)
Secondary colonizer (on-site or off-site seed sources)
Fire adaptations: Several sources indicate that woods strawberry is adapted to survive low- to moderate-severity fires via subsurface perennating buds. Powell  suggested that woods strawberry survives "cool" fires via stolons that are sequestered in unburned litter and duff layers. Brown and Debyle  considered woods strawberry a fire endurer, which Rowe  classed as those plants able to resprout after the passage of fire. Wang and Kimball  included woods strawberry in the POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY class sprouter (regenerated from surface or buried buds) following a wildfire in a southeastern Manitoba boreal mixedwood forest.
There is also some suggestion that, at least at the population level, woods strawberry is adapted to fire-prone habitats due to a propensity for postfire seedling establishment. In a study of postfire plant cover in northeastern Oregon, Johnson  indicated that in postfire year 5, woods strawberry established by seed dispersed from outside the measurement plots in a grand fir-pinegrass habitat type. Suggestions that woods strawberry seedling establishment is generally benefited by some type of disturbance (see Seedling Establishment and Growth and Successional Status) also supports the hypothesis that woods strawberry seedling establishment is promoted by fire. In addition, Strickler and Edgerton  suggested that heat may promote woods strawberry seed germination, but a small sample size provided limited experimental evidence.
Although several sources have suggested that seedling establishment and vegetative spread typically do not occur together concurrently, at least within established populations (see Seedling Establishment and Growth), Ahlgren [3,4] observed both woods strawberry seedling establishment and vegetative sprouting, in about equal numbers, in postfire experiment plots in northeastern Minnesota.
FIRE REGIMES: As of this writing (2007), there is little published information linking woods strawberry with specific FIRE REGIMES. To the extent that woods strawberry benefits from fire (see Fire Effects), and to the extent that other postfire site characteristics are suitable for its occurrence, it is reasonable to suggest that woods strawberry is likely to be found in areas that experience moderately frequent, relatively low-severity fires. For example, Atzet and McCrimmon  described the fire regime of an Oregon white oak/woods strawberry habitat type in the southern Oregon Cascades as follows: "Fire occurred on three of the four sites sampled. Frequency is high, intensity is low, and many fires are confined to the type, without entering adjacent dense forest sites. Spread rates are moderated by the gentle topography. Heavy fuel production is low, but flashy fuels (grasses) are abundant and dry early in the summer. Vertical and horizontal fuel distribution is discontinuous and varied. Surface area, except for the grasses, is low" .
This is not to suggest that woods strawberry does not occur in areas with starkly different FIRE REGIMES than described above. For instance, it may be found in plant communities and ecosystems where the predominant disturbance type is something other than fire, such as windthrow, that may nevertheless benefit woods strawberry (see Successional Status). Given its apparent ubiquity across North America (see Distribution and Occurrence), fire regime is likely just one of many factors influencing woods strawberry occurrence and abundance.
The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where woods strawberry likely occurs (although precise distribution information is limited). For further information about specific FIRE REGIMES, see the FEIS review(s) of the dominant species listed below.
|Community or Ecosystem||Dominant Species||Fire Return Interval Range (years)|
|silver fir-Douglas-fir||Abies amabilis-Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii||>200|
|grand fir||Abies grandis||35-200 |
|maple-beech||Acer-Fagus spp.||684-1,385 [34,168]|
|silver maple-American elm||Acer saccharinum-Ulmus americana||<5 to 200|
|sugar maple||Acer saccharum||>1,000|
|sugar maple-basswood||Acer saccharum-Tilia americana||>1,000 |
|birch||Betula spp.||80-230 |
|California montane chaparral||Ceanothus and/or Arctostaphylos spp.||50-100 |
|sugarberry-America elm-green ash||Celtis laevigata-Ulmus americana-Fraxinus pennsylvanica||<35 to 200 |
|mountain-mahogany-Gambel oak scrub||Cercocarpus ledifolius-Quercus gambelii||121]|
|Atlantic white-cedar||Chamaecyparis thyoides||35 to >200|
|beech-sugar maple||Fagus spp.-Acer saccharum||>1,000|
|black ash||Fraxinus nigra||168]|
|green ash||Fraxinus pennsylvanica||<35 to >300 [52,168]|
|western juniper||Juniperus occidentalis||20-70|
|Rocky Mountain juniper||Juniperus scopulorum||<35 |
|cedar glades||Juniperus virginiana||3-22 [68,121]|
|tamarack||Larix laricina||35-200 |
|western larch||Larix occidentalis||25-350 [12,18,42]|
|yellow-poplar||Liriodendron tulipifera||<35 |
|Great Lakes spruce-fir||Picea-Abies spp.||35 to >200|
|northeastern spruce-fir||Picea-Abies spp.||35-200 |
|Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir||Picea engelmannii-Abies lasiocarpa||35 to >200 |
|black spruce||Picea mariana||35-200|
|conifer bog*||Picea mariana-Larix laricina||35-200 |
|blue spruce*||Picea pungens||35-200 |
|red spruce*||Picea rubens||35-200 |
|Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine||P. aristata||9-55 [45,46]|
|whitebark pine*||Pinus albicaulis||50-200 [1,9]|
|jack pine||Pinus banksiana||34,50]|
|Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine*||Pinus contorta var. latifolia||25-340 [17,18,161]|
|Sierra lodgepole pine*||Pinus contorta var. murrayana||35-200 |
|shortleaf pine||Pinus echinata||2-15|
|shortleaf pine-oak||Pinus echinata-Quercus spp.||<10 |
|Jeffrey pine||Pinus jeffreyi||5-30|
|western white pine*||Pinus monticola||50-200|
|Pacific ponderosa pine*||Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa||1-47 |
|interior ponderosa pine*||Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum||2-30 [11,16,101]|
|Arizona pine||Pinus ponderosa var. arizonica||2-15 [16,35,140]|
|red pine (Great Lakes region)||Pinus resinosa||3-18 (x=3-10) [33,58]|
|red-white pine* (Great Lakes region)||Pinus resinosa-P. strobus||3-200 [34,75,106]|
|pitch pine||Pinus rigida||6-25 [30,76]|
|eastern white pine||Pinus strobus||35-200|
|eastern white pine-eastern hemlock||Pinus strobus-Tsuga canadensis||35-200|
|eastern white pine-northern red oak-red maple||Pinus strobus-Quercus rubra-Acer rubrum||35-200|
|loblolly pine||Pinus taeda||3-8|
|loblolly-shortleaf pine||Pinus taeda-P. echinata||10 to <35|
|Virginia pine||Pinus virginiana||10 to <35|
|Virginia pine-oak||Pinus virginiana-Quercus spp.||10 to <35|
|sycamore-sweetgum-American elm||Platanus occidentalis-Liquidambar styraciflua-Ulmus americana||<35 to 200 |
|eastern cottonwood||Populus deltoides||<35 to 200 |
|aspen-birch||Populus tremuloides-Betula papyrifera||35-200 [50,168]|
|quaking aspen (west of the Great Plains)||Populus tremuloides||7-120 [11,66,110]|
|black cherry-sugar maple||Prunus serotina-Acer saccharum||>1,000 |
|mountain grasslands||Pseudoroegneria spicata||3-40 (x=10) [10,11]|
|Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir*||Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca||25-100 [11,13,14]|
|coastal Douglas-fir*||Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii||40-240 [11,112,131]|
|California mixed evergreen||Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii-Lithocarpus densiflorus-Arbutus menziesii||<35|
|California oakwoods||Quercus spp.||<35 |
|northeastern oak-pine||Quercus-Pinus spp.||10 to <35|
|white oak-black oak-northern red oak||Quercus alba-Q. velutina-Q. rubra||<35 |
|canyon live oak||Quercus chrysolepis||<35 to 200|
|blue oak-foothills pine||Quercus douglasii-P. sabiniana||11]|
|northern pin oak||Quercus ellipsoidalis||<35 |
|Oregon white oak||Quercus garryana||<35 |
|bear oak||Quercus ilicifolia||<35 |
|California black oak||Quercus kelloggii||5-30 |
|bur oak||Quercus macrocarpa||<10 |
|oak savanna||Quercus macrocarpa/Andropogon gerardii-Schizachyrium scoparium||2-14 [121,168]|
|chestnut oak||Quercus prinus||3-8|
|northern red oak||Quercus rubra||10 to <35|
|post oak-blackjack oak||Quercus stellata-Q. marilandica||<10|
|black oak||Quercus velutina||<35 |
|redwood||Sequoia sempervirens||5-200 [11,56,158]|
|western redcedar-western hemlock||Thuja plicata-Tsuga heterophylla||>200 |
|eastern hemlock-yellow birch||Tsuga canadensis-Betula alleghaniensis||100-240 [160,168]|
|eastern hemlock-white pine||Tsuga canadensis-Pinus strobus||x=47 |
|western hemlock-Sitka spruce||Tsuga heterophylla-Picea sitchensis||>200|
|mountain hemlock*||Tsuga mertensiana||35 to >200 |
More info for the terms: association, basal area, climax, competition, cover, frequency, litter, presence, shrubs, succession
Although evidence is limited, it appears that woods strawberry is most prevalent in early successional forests in the western United States. Nevertheless, it also appears that it may be found in most, if not all, successional stages of forest development, at least within some western forest types. For example, Antos and Habeck  sampled vegetation in grand fir-dominated communities in the Swan Valley, western Montana. Average woods strawberry percent occurrence was significantly (P<0.05) greater in stands less than 90 years old (67%), compared with stands greater than 150 years old (7%) . Habeck  also studied succession in western redcedar (Thuja plicata)-western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) zone forest communities in Glacier National Park. Woods strawberry exhibited its greatest presence in the earliest stages of succession in this zone, where forests that had established following fire were dominated by Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) and, to a lesser extent, western larch (Larix occidentalis). Woods strawberry diminished in importance in later-successional communities where western redcedar and western hemlock were dominant . Spies  found that mean woods strawberry percent frequency of occurrence in the Oregon Cascades was significantly (P<0.05) lower in old-growth (mean age = 395 years) forest stands, compared with mature (mean age = 115 years) or young (mean age = 60 years) stands. However, Steele and Geier-Hayes [147,148,149,150,151,152] characterized woods strawberry as a midseral species in several Douglas-fir- and grand fir-dominated habitat types in Idaho, and Ross and Hunter  included woods strawberry among "dominants in the climax vegetation" of the western redcedar-western hemlock association in Montana.
Several sources suggest or demonstrate that woods strawberry presence in western forest habitats is enhanced by disturbance. Hall  indicated that wild strawberries tend to increase with site disturbance in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. Ferguson and others  indicated that woods strawberry increased substantially in response to both partial and total overstory removal in grand fir-dominated sites in northern Idaho and southeastern Oregon. Green and Jensen  noted that stands of grand fir (grand fir/wild ginger (Asarum caudatum) habitat type) that were subjected to clearcutting, broadcast burning, and high-intensity mechanical scarification resulted in a woods strawberry-thistle (Cirsium spp.) successional community. Nelson and Halpern  studied the responses of understory plants to aggregated retention harvests in 70 to 80-year-old and 110 to 140-year-old Douglas-fir-dominated forests on the western slope of the Cascade Range, southwestern Washington. Aggregates were 2.5 acres (1 ha), with 5 aggregates retained per 32-acre (13 ha) harvest unit. Sampling did not detect woods strawberry in preharvest plots of either the harvested or retention treatments, nor in postharvest retention units 1 to 2 years after cutting. However, woods strawberry was sampled at 3% frequency in harvested areas, with mean cover less than 0.05% . A thinning experiment in a central Colorado Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine forest showed that woods strawberry cover was significantly (P<0.05) greater 5 years after heavy thinning (average basal area 30 ftÂ²/acre), compared with moderate thinning (58 ftÂ²/acre), light thinning (73 ftÂ²/acre), and unthinned controls (basal area not reported) .
It is not clear if observed increases in woods strawberry associated with site disturbance are due to seedling establishment that is promoted by litter layer and soil disturbance (see Seedling Establishment/Growth). It is also possible that extant woods strawberry populations are released from competition for light by disturbance-induced changes in canopy structure, and expand their coverage by vegetative spread (see Asexual Regeneration). Although Kemball and others  considered woods strawberry to be shade intolerant, Steele and Geier-Hayes  indicated that woods strawberry is more shade tolerant than many of the early seral herb-layer species with which it is often associated in Idaho forests, and that it, along with Virginia strawberry, achieves its greatest coverage "beneath a light canopy of trees or tall shrubs where partial shade has reduced competition from earlier successional herbs" .
Woods strawberry regenerates vegetatively and by seeds, although apparently the "predominant reproductive mode" is vegetative (Tamm 1948, as cited in ).
Pollination: According to Ostler and Harper , woods strawberry is "animal-pollinated", and flower structure is open with "unrestricted access to nectaries and/or pollen."
Breeding system: Fragaria vesca. ssp. vesca, F. v. ssp. americana, and F. v. ssp. californica have perfect flowers. Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata is gynodioecious, in which most plants have perfect flowers, but occasionally some plants bear only female flowers .
Seed production: No information is available on this topic.
Seed banking: Although information describing longevity of viable, soil-stored woods strawberry seed is sparse, there is some indication that it does develop seed banks ( and references contained therein). Laboratory and field research in Europe indicate that viable woods strawberry seeds may persist in soil for at least 5 years .
It appears that the woods strawberry seed bank is found close to the soil surface. Kramer and Johnson  studied seed banks in Douglas-fir and grand fir forests in west-central Idaho. A total of 19 viable woods strawberry seeds were collected from 12 of 48 stands sampled. Ninety-five percent of viable woods strawberry seeds were found in the 0 to 2 inch (0-5 cm) depth, which was mainly composed of compacted litter and organic layers. Five percent of viable woods strawberry seeds were found in the 2 to 4 inch (5-10 cm) depth, which was predominantly mineral soil . Similarly, of soil samples taken from 3 grand fir-dominated sites in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, 2 sites yielded germinable seeds only from the litter/humus layer, and 1 site only from the 0 to 0.8 inch (0-2 cm) mineral soil layer. No woods strawberry seedlings emerged from the 0.8 to 1.6 inch (2-4 cm) soil samples .
Germination: As of this writing (2007) there is little published information describing conditions either favoring or inhibiting woods strawberry seed germination. Steele and Geier-Hayes  wrote that woods strawberry "germinates on moist mineral soil in partial shade."
Results from a laboratory experiment suggest that cold stratification may induce more rapid germination of woods strawberry seed but provides a much smaller, perhaps negligible effect on eventual numbers of germinants. Woods strawberry seeds were planted in sterilized soil and overwintered in either a coldframe or a heated greenhouse. Seeds overwintered in coldframes were brought indoors after 83 days and had greater germination (45.5%) compared with seeds from the heated greenhouse (32%). Seeds in the cold frame treatment also germinated more rapidly, between 14 and 56 days, while those in the heated greenhouse required between 48 and 252 days for germination .
Seedling establishment/growth: To date (2007), not much information has been published about woods strawberry seedling establishment and growth. However, there is some indication that seedling establishment occurs mainly apart from established populations, perhaps following some type of soil disturbance. A review by Eriksson  suggests that seedling establishment in preestablished populations of adult woods strawberry clones is rare, and that seedlings mainly contribute to establishment of new populations apart from established clones. Anecdotal evidence provided by Jurik  concurs, noting not only that seedlings do not seem to establish in preexisting populations, but that seedlings were observed only where the original vegetation was removed and mineral soil exposed. Steele and Geier-Hayes [148,150,151] noted that woods strawberry seedling establishment apparently requires bare shaded soil.
Asexual regeneration: Vegetative spread in woods strawberry occurs in 3 ways; although, according to a review by Eriksson , woods strawberry vegetative spread is mainly by stolons. Crowns arise from short rhizomes [63,78,90,99,108,126], and stolons arise from axillary buds, with individual ramets producing 1 to 4 stolons per season. Stolons may branch at alternate nodes. The nonbranching nodes produce 1 to 2 small leaves and adventitious root primordia, and will root when contacting moist substratum. Stolons decay over winter. Individual nodes may root up to 3.3 feet (1 m) from the parent ramet. Adventitious roots may also develop in the axils of decayed leaves allowing plants to "creep along the forest floor . . . through the accumulation of several years' decaying leaf bases" .
Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)
More info for the term: hemicryptophyte
RAUNKIAER  LIFE FORM:
Life History and Behavior
More info for the terms: phenology, stolon
The following table lists some examples of woods strawberry flowering phenology from throughout North America:
|east-central/southeastern Arizona ||X||X||X||X||X|
|near Moscow, Idaho ||X||X|
|northern Idaho ||X||X||X|
|New Mexico ||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|western North Carolina ||X||X||X|
|western Oregon/southwestern Washington ||X||X||X|
|Uinta Basin, Utah ||X||X|
|West Virginia ||X||X||X|
|Blue Ridge Mountains ||X||X||X|
|northern Great Plains ||X||X|
|Intermountain West ||X||X|
|New England ||X||X|
|northeastern United States ||X||X||X|
|coastal, New York to Newfoundland ||X||X||X||X|
|Baja California ||X||X||X||X|
Reported dates for ripe fruits include mid-June to early August near Moscow, Idaho , and by early July in central New York . Stolon production occurs from early June to late August in central New York  and early May through August near Ithaca, New York . Stolon decay begins in late summer and connection between nodes is usually lost by spring, at least in central New York .
Leaf production occurs continuously from April to October in central New York, and a few leaves may overwinter . Steele and Geier-Hayes [150,151] also reported that at least some woods strawberry leaves remain green through the winter in Idaho.
Schmidt and Lotan  reported the following phenological data for woods strawberry from locations east of the Continental Divide in Montana and in Yellowstone National Park, 1928-1937:
|First appearance||Leaves full grown||Flowers start||Flowers end||Fruits ripe||Seed fall starts||Leaves start to color||Leaves fallen|
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Fragaria vesca
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Fragaria vesca
Public Records: 14
Specimens with Barcodes: 23
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.
Published information provides conflicting evidence concerning woods strawberry grazing tolerance. Hall 
reported that wild strawberries tended to increase with overgrazing in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon
and southeastern Washington. Steele and Geier-Hayes [147,148,149] indicated that, on "cutover" sites
in grand fir- and Douglas-fir-dominated habitat types in Idaho, woods strawberry was less tolerant of heavy
grazing than either Virginia strawberry or other common grazing-tolerant forbs. It was also suggested that
woods strawberry is susceptible to trampling from heavy livestock traffic [147,148,149]. In northern California,
Saenz  recorded the presence of woods strawberry in "lightly" grazed (only grazed "late in
the season" by cattle) Oregon white oak woodland, but it was not observed in "heavily" grazed
(grazed by cattle "for as much of the year as weather permitted") woodland, nor in "lightly"
grazed or "heavily" grazed grassland.
In meadow habitat surrounded by ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest on the Mogollon Rim, northern
Arizona, exclusion of grazing by cattle, elk and deer had no consistent effect on relative abundance of woods
strawberry. Comparisons were made between grazed plots and fenced exclosure plots where there had been no
grazing for 8 to 9 years. Woods strawberry "relative abundance (%)" ranged from 0 to 6.5%, with no
discernable effect of grazing among 3 sites.
A study on the Rogue River National Forest, Oregon, suggests that on logged sites where woods strawberry is
present, removing slash (in this case piling and burning) results in greater woods strawberry presence,
compared with leaving slash in place .
Limited evidence suggests that woods strawberry may be relatively resistant to some herbicides. Rice and Toney
 studied the effects of herbicide treatments for controlling spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)
on native forest and grassland vegetation in west-central Montana. At a single site, woods strawberry occurrence
was not significantly (P=0.67) different in untreated plots and plots treated once with either picloram
or clopyralid . It also does not appear particularly susceptible to glyphosate . Caution should be
observed when making assumptions about effects of specific herbicides, application rates, and repeated
applications on woods strawberry.
Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)
FRVE is somewhat available through native plant nurseries within its range. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”
Keep the runners pruned back because they can be invasive. It is necessary to divide the patch every 3 to 4 years and start a new patch for increased vigor. Younger plants are more vigorous and produce more berries.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Other uses and values
Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites
There are suggestions that woods strawberry might be important for stabilizing steep slopes following fire  (see Fire Management Considerations).
Importance to Livestock and Wildlife
Several native ungulates are known to graze woods strawberry foliage. Elk utilize it as summer forage in central Washington  and spring forage in northern Idaho . Campbell and Johnson  provided evidence for year-round mountain goat and mule deer grazing on wild strawberries in north-central Washington. Woods strawberry was consumed by white-tailed deer in grand fir/queencup beadlily (Clintonia uniflora) and western redcedar/queencup beadlily habitat types in northern Idaho .
Tame mule deer utilized woods strawberry in Utah and Colorado. In a lodgepole pine-dominated forest area in northeastern Utah, woods strawberry constituted 5% by weight of the summer diet of tame mule deer in clearcut forest and mature forest habitats . Tame mule deer utilized small amounts of woods strawberry in lodgepole pine and Englemann spruce (Picea engelmannii)-subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) habitats in central Colorado in summer . In an experiment on a central Colorado ponderosa pine/bunchgrass range, observations of grazing preferences of tame mule deer indicated that woods strawberry was among preferred food species. Average percent of mule deer diet comprised of woods strawberry was as follows :
|Average monthly use||April||May||June||July||August||October|
Woods strawberry is also eaten by other native mammals, including grizzly bears , black bears [150,151], and raccoons , although it is unclear if these animals are eating strictly fruit, or if they are also utilizing foliage.
Fruits are eaten by grouse and songbirds [83,150,151]. Wild strawberry is "perhaps the most important herbaceous food plant for" ruffed grouse in Minnesota . Hungerford  suggested that it was an important food for ruffed grouse in Idaho.
Palatability/nutritional value: According to Steele and Geier-Hayes [150,151] woods strawberry is moderately palatable to deer, elk and sheep. Its leaves remain "green through the winter" and provide a higher forage value "than most herb layer species during that season."
Cover value: No information is available on this topic.
Ethnobotanic: The fruit was gathered by native peoples throughout the United States and Canada. Such cultural groups include the Micmac, Huron, Potawatomi, Creek, Blackfoot, Iroquois, and many other groups. The fruit was eaten raw and not preserved by California Indian tribes including the Coast Yuki and the Karok. Furthermore, a tea was made from the leaves by the Upriver Halkomelem and Sechelt of British Columbia, the Cowlitz of Washington and the Micmac of the maritimes.
Wildlife: The Portola woodrat and the valley quail eat the fruit and leaves of wild strawberries.
Names and Taxonomy
The scientific name of woods strawberry is Fragaria vesca L. (Rosaceae) [27,37,47,48,49,51,61,62,63,78,79,80,89,102,111,126,133,155,162,167,173,176]. The following subspecies are
Fragaria vesca ssp. americana (Porter) Staudt [89,167,176]
Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata (Heller) Staudt [28,87,89,123,171,172]
Fragaria vesca ssp. californica [78,89]
Fragaria vesca ssp. vesca 
According to Cronquist and others , woods strawberry and Virginia strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
do not hybridize in the western U.S., and any similarities in diagnostic traits are more likely attributable
to variability within species.
For the purposes of this review, the common name "woods strawberry" is used when discussing
characteristics common to (or assumed to be common to) the species in general. When referring to infrataxa,
the scientific names for the subspecies listed above are used. When referring to multiple Fragaria spp.,
the name "wild strawberries" is used.
= Fragaria vesca L. 
Fragaria americana (Porter) Britton
= Fragaria vesca var. americana Porter 
Fragaria vesca L. var. americana
= Fragaria americana (Porter) Britton 
Fragaria vesca L. var. americana Porter
= Fragaria vesca L. 
Fragaria bracteata Heller
= Fragaria americana (Porter) Britton 
Fragaria bracteata Heller
= Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata (Heller) Staudt [28,87]
Fragaria vesca var. bracteata (Heller) Davis
= Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata (Heller) Staudt 
Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata Heller Staudt
= Fragaria vesca var. bracteata (Heller) Davis 
Fragaria bracteata Heller
= Fragaria vesca var. bracteata (Heller) Davis [62,79,81,173]
Fragaria helleri Holz.
= Fragaria vesca var. bracteata (Heller) Davis [79,81,173]
Fragaria ovalis (Lehm.) Rydb.
= Fragaria vesca L. var. bracteata (Heller) Davis 
= Fragaria vesca var. bracteata (Heller) Davis 
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