Woodland Strawberry

Woodland Strawberry
Woodland Strawberry. Fragarai vesca.
Rosaceae, the rose family.

Plant: Low plant, to 12", with basal leaves, producing stems with small groups of five-petaled white flowers. Spreads via runners. Perennial.
Flowers: Five white petals surrounding yellow center with many short stamens, about 3/4". Dome-shaped center develops into the familiar fruit.
Leaves: Basal, compound, with three equal, stemless, toothed leaflets, each 1"-1.5" long. Terminal tooth equal to or longer than teeth on either side.
Fruit: Familiar strawberry. Technically not a berry, but the enlarged center of the flower, termed a receptacle containing seed-like fruits in small pits on the surface.
Blooming: May-June
Habitat: Fields, woodland borders and clearings.

Comments: This native plant closely resembles the common strawberry V. virginiana. It is distinguished by the terminal tooth being as long or longer than the ones on either side (that of the common strawberry is shorter) and by the seeds being on the surface of the receptacle rather than embedded in it. The berries are edible and good. The related common strawberry is one of the ancestors of the cultivated strawberry, which is a hybrid with a South American species. A somewhat less closely related plant, sometimes called Indian strawberry (Duchesnea indica) has yellow flowers and flavorless fruit.

Where to find it: I have found this in one location: an open patch in the woods just off the trail, fairly near the parking lot.