What are these and are they edible?

thebutcher(6b (Philadelphia area))June 14, 2013

Hey all,

I was hoping to get an identification on this fruit. They came with my house and for the past 10 years we have weed wacked them not knowing if they were edible or poisoness?

I mention this because I have never seen them and if I were to come across this in a forest I would not eat them based on looks.

It also seems like the old owner of the house had a garden in the yard, after diging up I found old stakes in the ground. These beeries are all lined up around our my back yard fence line.

Many Thanks in advanced,
-Mr Beno

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mrsg47(7)

Yes they are strawberries. If they were more elogated they would look like 'Fraises des Bois'.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

They are mock strawberries, a common weed. Non-poisonous but not worth eating.

Scott

Here is a link that might be useful: Mock strawberry

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 1:25PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

While Scott might be right, they look more like Alpine (i.e. very tasty) strawberries to me. Have you noticed the flower color? Mock strawberries have yellow flowers, while alpine strawberries have white flowers.

This post was edited by shazaam on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 13:57

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 1:56PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Since both mock strawberries and alpine strawberries are edible a taste test would not hurt you. They do look like Alpines to me, too.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:32PM
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persianmd2orchard

looks like mocks to me, arent alpines usually more elongated anyway?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 5:18PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

That's a good point -- the berries on the variety that I grow are more elongated/conical in shape. I think flora's right...a taste test is in order.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:41PM
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lucky_p

I believe they're the real deal. Mock fruits are usually, in my experience, held erect, and don't typically have the 'neck' I see in this photo. Flower color is a giveaway, and a taste test will seal the deal - the mocks don't really have any particular flavor to 'em.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:10PM
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lucky_p

I believe they're the real deal. Mock fruits are usually, in my experience, held erect, and don't typically have the 'neck' I see in this photo. Flower color is a giveaway, and a taste test will seal the deal - the mocks don't really have any particular flavor to 'em.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:11PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

The seeds are sticking way out just like mocks. I often see a neck on mine like those. Crack one open, if its soft runny and whitish inside its a mock.

Scott

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:13PM
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2ajsmama

Those are wood or wild strawberries - Fragaria vesca or virginiana. They are not Alpine if they are producing runners. I have both, they will produce larger berries if in fertile soil and full sun rather than in their native forest habitat, but the berries are so small it's often not worth picking. Great flavor, I often grab a few in passing to snack on. DD actually picked about a pint last weekend and we had them on pancakes.

I do have 1 Alpine plant I bought a few years ago, flavor of wild berries I transplanted is much better. The Alpine has gotten bigger but stays put, the wild berries have spread immensely and it's a chore just to keep them from cascading over the stone wall and into the lawn!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:39AM
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thebutcher(6b (Philadelphia area))

Thanks for all the replies,

I think I will give them a taste test today and get some close up photos.

I don't know if this helps but all I know is that they only grow along my fence and come up every spring. And I think the birds like them which brings me to my next question, now attracting birds, could this be harmful to my tomatoes and peppers next to them or could this be a nice deterent that they will go for first.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:39PM
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ltilton

Do you recall the color of the flowers?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:57PM
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thebutcher(6b (Philadelphia area))

I will take more photos this evening when I get back, but this is a closer up photo that I took the other day. I hope this helps. I think they are white? But when I get back I will inspect in greater detail.

Thanks again all,
-Mr Beno

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 4:30PM
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ltilton

I don't think those flowers belong to the strawberries.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 4:56PM
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thebutcher(6b (Philadelphia area))

More photos and I did a taste test. At first I didnt think it was that good, but that could be because I had a few coctails but moments after the taste was better. It is kind of a nice tangy flavor. Does that help?

I also took many photos but these are the initial. I also I looked way behind a big tree in my yard and there is plenty of them 10ft x 4 ft of all those green leaves and the red strawberries (I also noticed a black mat undernearth).. I did see some yellow flowers as well as white.

Thanks again everyone.
-Mr Beno

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 6:34PM
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2ajsmama

Your last photo is a clover flower.

I've never cut one open, so I don't know what the inside of a wild strawberry looks like. But very intense strawberry flavor. I have some round ones that aren't that flavorful (though white flowers with yellow centers like all the others), kind of a deep pocked appearance. The ones that have seeds more on the surface and shaped like yours are more flavorful. The Alpine are very elongated and pointed and just don't taste like anything to me.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 6:43PM
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thebutcher(6b (Philadelphia area))

Thanks Ajs,

It puzzles me because I saw white and yellow. This photo is from the other side of the fence. Thanks again for all your help and same with every contributer here.

- Mr Beno

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:12PM
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ltilton

Those yellow flowers belong to the berries. Definitive ID.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:34PM
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2ajsmama

We have a weed that runners and has leaves like a strawberry plant and yellow flowers, but I've never seen them fruit and they have 5 leaves not 3 - I think they're Pontentilla.

I can't tell from this last picture (and it's getting late in the season) if these flowers are on the strawberry plants or are weeds poking through like in your other pictures. If they have domed yellow centers (may see the seeds) surrounded by white petals (which may have fallen off by now) then they are one of the wild "real" strawberries.

Basically, if you like the taste, they're strawberries. If you don't, they're a weed (or ornamental ground cover).

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:39PM
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lucky_p

Mock. After I went back and looked again, I changed my mind - and the next photos sealed the deal.
Stick to the cocktails - or let me know what you were drinkin', 'cause if it made the mock strawberries taste tangy, I need to try some of that! lol.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 7:27AM
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thebutcher(6b (Philadelphia area))

lol about the coctails and thanks for all the help and replies everyone. I tasted one today and they didnt have much flavor initally as a ripe fruit would have but the tangy taste did get a little stronger. I guess it could be from those seeds sticking out that are so small.

Anyway I guess I will leave them be for now. They are just running along th fence. But in the back there is a whole big patch of them and I may use that space for growing Brussell sprouts now.

Thanks again everyone,

-Mr Beno

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 4:02PM
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