Wow ! What a beautiful sight. For the first time, I have finally stumbled upon a beauty- a large patch of wild strawberry! I have never seen wild strawberries in the woods, so this was quite the treat for me. Although there are no berries just yet, as its quite early in the season still, I could tell right away what I had found.
There are two types- wild strawberry, and woodland strawberry. This patch is the wild strawberry.
The wild strawberry has a very distinct feature compared to the woodland strawberry. At first glance they may both look equally the same, however the wild strawberry has a leaf tooth at the tip of the leaf that is much smaller then the other teeth. The woodland has a tooth that protrudes out father at the tip. The plant comes with in 3 trifoliate leaves at the tips or long hairy petioles. The leaves are generally oval shaped with toothed edges, and have a greenish blue color.
The flower has 5 beautiful tiny white petals, with a yellow center, they have about 20 yellow stamens surrounding a yellowish center, and 5 sharply pointed sepals as long as or shorter than the petal. There is usually several flowers blooming in one bunch and they will bloom between April and June. The flowers produce small globe shaped berries with tiny seeds on the outside. The berries from wild strawberries are far superior in sweetness and taste then the cultivated strawberries we are used to from the store. I cant wait to try a few this summer!
Now lets get into the good part.... Whats edible on this plant?? The leaves, flowers and the berries are all edible ! The leaves can be made into a potent vitamin C supplement, you can brew the leaves in cold water by grinding them up to release the good stuff, or simple brew a cup of warm tea. The leaves, flowers and or berries can be harvested, dried and used for a herbal tea tonic, to cleanse the stomach, can be a medicine for fevers and is said to be one of the best ways to treat diarrhea!
Another great use for wild strawberry is for its benefits on dental health. Stems and roots can be boiled to make a remedy for cold and mouth sires and cooked plants are said to be a great way to strengthen gums and fasten teeth. You can make as strawberry juice to help whiten teeth and remove tartar, just hold the juice in your mouth for a while and then rinse with water. You can add an additional pinch of baking soda for added benefits and an extra cleanse. The leaves and roots have been historically used as a herbal treatment for improving bile and liver function. Lastly, The berries are PACKED FULL of antioxidents. and can help speed up and repair collagen production.
The leaves and flowers can be eaten raw in salads, along with the berries, however the berries may be harder to find as they are a preferred treat for many types of wildlife!
I am heading out later today to collect a few leaves and flowers to brew a tasty vitamin C powerhouse ice tea, I will update with a beautiful photo of how it turns out and a quick description of the taste. If you loved this post and would like to learn more, please subscribe to my website, and follow me on facebook. I will be posting many many more posts about the wild edible plants found all around us, and lots of easy simple recipes that almost anyone can do at home:)
I hope you enjoyed and if you have any questions , or additional information regarding wild strawberries, please dont be scared to write something in the comments below !!