The Wild Indian Strawberry
or Mock Strawberry Plant
The Wild Indian, or Mock Strawberry, is a perennial evergreen ground cover known for its tiny red fruit, bright yellow flowers, and small green leaves. Its fruit is red and about the size of a dime, and the leaves are in groups of three. It blooms from early spring until early fall and can grow in full sun as well as some shade. It prefers moist soil but will thrive even in the worst conditions. It makes a good border plant and will readily spread if given half a chance. It may even become invasive if you let it get out of hand. Plant it along sidewalks or driveways and it will perk things up nicely. It also makes a good groundcover to go under Roses or azaleas. Mine are planted around my roses and azaleas and around the borders of my garden. The continuous production of flowers and fruit throughout the summer are very pretty to see. Another bonus is the birds and other wild life like them. The plant requires little care, though you may want to water them on occasion. It may die back in cold winters, but always comes back full force in the spring.
The Wild Indian Strawberry’s fruit and leaves are both edible and medicinal. Though the fruit is said to be tasteless by some, the larger ones have a flavor somewhat like watermelon according to others. The fruit is high in vitamin C and has some protein. The leaves are edible as a pot herb. The entire plant is medicinal as a blood thinner, antiseptic, purifier, and fever reducer. The herb can also be used for sore throats, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The fresh leaves can be crushed and applied externally as a medicinal poultice. It can also be used in the treatment of boils and abscesses, burns, eczema, ringworm, snake and insect bites, and other traumatic injuries. A liquid extract of the flowers is used to help the blood to circulate. The Indian Strawberry can also cure skin diseases. The Wild Indian Strawberry is being studied for its ability to stop some forms of cancer from spreading through the body and may be helpful in some immune deficiencies.
RECIPES TO TRY
Medicinal poultice: Place the leaves and berries in a cloth. Crush them and apply directly to the wound.
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