What is this red berry that is not a strawberry. It is very small

Asked August 19, 2017, 12:23 PM EDT

Is this smal red berry that looks like a small strawberry poisonous?

Ohio

1 Response

I believe this may be a fruit of the mock strawberry or Indian strawberry. According to the University of Nebraska Extension document linked below, Potentilla indica was recently changed from Duchesnea indica, orignally Fragaria indica.

http://communityenvironment.unl.edu/mock-strawberry

This link from the Illinois wildflowers has some better photos.

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/mock_strawberry.htm

The mock strawberry resembles a wild strawberry plant, but it has yellow blooms rather than white like a true strawberry. Also, the sepals around the fruit are green rather than the reddish green around a strawberry. The fruit of the mock strawberry tends to face upwards while the strawberry hangs downward.

The fruit of the mock strawberry is considered edible, though the taste is bland and the texture is dry.

In contrast, the fruit of the wild strawberry Fragaria virginiana is often very flavorful and juicy. This plant blooms in spring and the fruit ripens in June.

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/wld_strawberryx.htm

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=291715&isprofile=0&pt=8

According to the FDA, there is no toxicity associated with the fruit of the mock strawberry.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/plantox/detail.cfm?id=13794

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