Indian Mock-Strawberry
Duchesnea indica


Weed Description: Perennial from stolons often found in shady locations. Primarily a weed of landscapes and turfgrass found throughout the southeastern United States.
Seedlings: Cotyledons slightly thickened, with hairs along the margins only.  First two or three leaves simple, subsequent leaves trifoliate.  Stolons develop at least by the time the fifth leaf emerges.
Leaves: Each leaf is composed of three leaflets (trifoliolate). Leaflets are ovate to elliptic, 3/4-3 inches long, 1/3-1 1/2 inches wide, hairy, with rounded teeth (crenate). Individual leaflets are connected to the much longer petiole by very small petiolules (1-6 mm long). Petioles are also hairy.
Stems: Stolons are hairy and creeping.
Flowers: Occur alone on long stalks (peduncles) that arise from the region between the stem and leaf petioles (leaf axils). Flowers consist of 5 yellow petals with large leafy sepals beneath.
Fruit: A red, fleshy, berry, similar to the commercially produced strawberries. The surface of the fruit contains many small pits (achenes).
Roots: Stolons.
Identifying Characteristics: Creeping plants from stolons with trifoliolate leaves and distinctive strawberry-like berry. This weed is similar in appearance to Wild Strawberry (Frageria virginiana), but wild strawberry has leaflets with pointed teeth on the upper 2/3 to 3/4 of the leaflet only. Additionally, wild strawberry has white flowers, unlike the yellow flowers of Indian mock-strawberry. Certain Cinquefoil species (Potentilla spp.) may also resemble this weed, however Sulfur (Potentilla recta L.) and Oldfield Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex Michx.) have 5 leaflets rather than 3 leaflets of Indian mock-strawberry.