Fragaria chiloensis (L.) Mill.
Beach strawberry, Coast strawberry
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
USDA Symbol: FRCH
Shiny, dark-green, trifoliate leaves arise from the creeping, horizontal runners or this large-flowered, wild strawberry. A low plant connected to others by runners, at least when young, often growing in patches, with white flowers on stalks slightly shorter than leaves. The white, five-petaled flowers are followed on the female plants by large, red berries. Beach strawberry or coast strawberry is a perennial.
The word strawberry comes from the Anglo-Saxon streawberige, referring to the berries strewing their runners out over the ground. This plant also grows in South America; Chilean plants of this species were the parents in the production of hybrid domestic strawberries. Several species of wild strawberries in the West strongly resemble Beach Strawberry but have thin leaflets.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Complexity: Trifoliate
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AK , CA , HI , NY , OH , OR , WA
Native Distribution: Coast from AK to San Luis Obispo Co., CA; also HI
Native Habitat: Sandy, coastal areas
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Coast strawberry is quite drought tolerant. It is not as aggressive and considered more attractive than other wild strawberries, making it an ideal, sand-binding ground cover. This species is one parent of the cultivated strawberries.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: The easiest method of increase is to use offset plants produced by the numerous runners. Offsets should be planted with crown at ground level. Seeds may be sown.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary, although 2 1/2-3 months stratification may hasten germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Fragaria chiloensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Fragaria chiloensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Fragaria chiloensis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff