Plants That Look Like Strawberries
The garden strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) is a familiar sight in home gardens and pick-your-own farms throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 10, although they do best as annuals in USDA zones 9 and 10.
If you’re walking in a field or forest, however, you may spot some common lookalikes. Some plants resembling strawberries are actually relatives of the cultivated fruit, while others just happen to bear such a striking resemblance that they carry “strawberry” in their common names. Some just have leaves that resemble the strawberry’s, while some bear fruit as well, but all have those distinctive leaves and just might tempt you to bend down and rummage around for some sweet strawberries to snack on.
Cinquefoil With Strawberry-Like Leaves
Some members of the cinquefoil family closely resemble garden strawberries. Their flowers are yellow rather than white, however, and they bear no fruit. Strawberry weed, or Norwegian cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica), can be found in most parts of the U.S. and Canada. The wild plant has the characteristic round-toothed, three-part (trifoliate) leaves of garden strawberries, according to UMass Extension. It grows between 1 and 3 feet in height, and like common cinquefoil, produces yellow flowers. Common cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex) is generally distributed only in eastern parts of the U.S. Its leaves are in five parts, compared with the three of the garden strawberry.
Mock Strawberry Differs Only in Flowers
Mock strawberries (Duchesnea indica syn. Fragaria indica) resemble cultivated and wild strawberries in everything but their flowers, which are yellow instead of white, reports University of Maryland Extension. Like strawberries, mock strawberries spread by runners and have the characteristic toothed, trifoliate leaves of actual strawberry plants. They even bear red, seeded fruit. These fruits are not poisonous, but they are quite bland. Mock strawberries are found in wild areas but are also cultivated as ground cover in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9.
Wood Strawberry, Also Called California Strawberry
The wood strawberry (Fragaria vesca), also called the California strawberry, is a relative of the common strawberry. Like garden strawberries, wood strawberries have trifoliate leaves that are toothed, reports the USDA. The flowers are white, sometimes with yellow centers. As a cultivated ground cover, wood strawberries grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 to 9. Some cultivars may bear good-tasting fruit, but the wild versions are not prized for their taste. While not officially invasive in California, the ground cover can be a nuisance unless you keep its runners pruned.
Plants That Look Like Strawberries. The garden strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) is a familiar sight in home gardens and pick-your-own farms throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 10 — though they do best as annuals in USDA zones 9 and 10. If you’re walking in a field or forest, …