E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Fragaria vesca L.
wood strawberry (woodland strawberry)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Gary Ansell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #13049)

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Distribution of Fragaria vesca
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a fibrous root and short, thick rhizome, with long, leafless runners; stems trailing, rooting at the nodes; runners, leaf stalks and flower shoots greenish or very lightly tinged with reddish purple, lightly to densely hairy.
Basal in rosettes, palmately compound, on stalks 3-12 cm long; leaflets 3, elliptic to egg-shaped, more or less unstalked, 1-3 cm long, the lower surface pale and fine-hairy underneath, the upper surface yellow-green and nearly smooth, the margins strongly toothed with the terminal tooth projecting beyond the adjacent lateral ones.
Inflorescence an open cluster of 3 to 15 stalked flowers atop axillary, leafless, shoots that are usually longer than the leaves at maturity; corollas white, the petals 5, egg-shaped, 5-10 mm long; calyces silky-hairy, 5-lobed, the lobes (sepals) 4-5 mm long, alternating with narrowly elliptic bractlets about as long as the sepals; ovaries superior; stamens about 20.
Strawberries, hemispheric, about 1 cm wide, covered with achenes; achenes 1.3 mm long, partly sunken in the fleshy receptacle.
Two varieties with overlapping ranges occur in BC:

1. Flowers to 1.5 cm across; achenes not sunken; leaf-stalks with appressed-ascending hairs; flower-shoots rarely with a leafy bract below inflorescence..................... var. americana Porter

1. Flowers to 2 cm across; achenes in shallow pits; leaf-stalks with spreading or reflexed hairs; flower-shoots commonly with a leafy bract below inflorescence..................... var. bracteata (Heller) R.J. Davis

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist open forests, sandy fields, clearings and meadows in the lowland to subalpine zones; common in S BC south of 53degreeN, rare northward; N to NT, E to NF and S to CA, NM, MO and VA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Fragaria vesca

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 10 929 2854
Slope Gradient (%) 0 26 240
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 200 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(2), BG(2), BWBS(32), CDF(18), CWH(120), ESSF(85), ICH(462), IDF(472), MH(1), MS(106), PP(11), SBPS(17), SBS(144), SWB(2)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane, circumpolar forb (transcontinental in North America). Occurs on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-medium soils within boreal, wet temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence increases with increasing continentality, and decreases with increasing elevation. Inhabits exposed mineral soils on water-shedding sites; common in early-seral, meadow-like communities; sporadic in open-canopy, young-seral forests. Characteristic of disturbed sites.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Fragaria americana (Porter) Britton
Fragaria vesca var. americana Porter

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References