Strawberry (wild) Fragaria vesca

Status
Best Time to See
Colour
Habitat

Before the advent of the familiar garden strawberry Fragaria x ananassa (actually a hybrid created from two American species) our ancestors enjoyed our wild, native variety. In fact the Gloucester speaks of in Shakespere's Richard III are undoubtedly these:

When I was last in Holborn,I saw good strawberries in your garden there;I do beseech you send for some of them.

(Richard III, III, iv. 33-35.)

Distribution

Common across the UK but rarer in north Scotland.

Habitat

A variety of environments: from roadsides to hill slopes to forest clearings.

Best time to see

April to July. White flowers appear in spring followed by fruit in the summer. 

Did you now?

The origin of the name "strawberry" is a bit of a mystery. Whilst it likely derives from the Old English streawberige - meaning, quite literally, "the berry associated with straw" - quite what this association is remains open to conjecture. The plant doesn't particularly grow amongst straw nor does it bear much of a physical resemblance.