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Native Plant of the Week: Barren Strawberry

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

Family: Rosaceae

Name: Geum (Waldstenia) fragarioides - Barren Strawberry

Pictures: closeup of flower (Ryan Hodnett), habit (Meneerke Bloem), summer foliage (KMS Native Plants), fall color (New Moon Nursery), healthy landscape plug (KMS Native Plants)

Bloom Time: April - May

Flower: Yellow

Soil Condition: Dry, Average, Moist, Acidic, Well Drained

Light: Sun to Partial Shade

Height: 4-6" tall by 12" wide

Native Range: Eastern United States including Long Island

Zone: 4 to 7

Geum fragarioides is an underutilized local native ground cover for tough spots under trees and shrubs. Makes a great edger to a walkway or flower bed. The small yellow flowers are attractive to early pollinators. Small mammals and songbirds will eat the dry fruits in late spring. Looks great as a filler in a planter. Burgundy bronze fall foliage is just an added bonus to this fantastic perennial. Spreads slowly by rhizomes to form a lush mat of foliage. A great alternative to the invasive, Hedera helix - English Ivy.

Fun Facts: It is called Barren Strawberry because the fruit is dry and inedible to people.

Maintenance: You may clean up the foliage after the winter, but it is not necessary. If there's too much water, slugs may be an issue

Benefits: Tolerates light foot traffic, deer resistant, clay soil tolerant, drought tolerant, salt resistant, pollinators,

Companion Plants: Tiarella cordifolia - Foamflower, Carex appalachica - Appalachian Sedge, Pinus strobus - Eastern White Pine, Athyrium felix-femina - Lady Fern, Eurybia divaricata - Eastern White Wood Aster, Solidago caesia - Sweet Goldenrod



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