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Common Name: Mock Strawberry
Duchesnea indica is a Evergreen Perennial up to 0.10 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
E. Asia - China, Japan, Himalayas. An occasional garden escape in Britain[
Shady places in woods, grassy slopes, ravines in low mountains, all over Japan[
Prefers a moist but well-drained soil in a sunny position[
]. Plants are at their best in semi-shade, though they are not too fussy[
] and can succeed in quite dense shade[
]. They also grow well in a rock garden[
Plants are hardy to about -20°c[
A very ornamental plant[
] but it can be invasive, spreading freely by means of runners[
]. Plants are more or less evergreen, though they can be browned by severe frosts[
]. Plants sometimes self-sow in British gardens[
Fruit - raw[
]. Dry and insipid[
]. Certainly rather tasteless, but it is not dry[
]. A flavour somewhat like a water melon according to some people, but this is possibly the product of a strained imagination[
].The fruit contains about 3.4% sugar, 1.5% protein, 1.6% ash[
]. Vitamin C is 6.3mg per 100ml of juice[
]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter with the appearance and texture of a strawberry but very little flavour[
]. A clump 2.5m² yields about 150g of fruit annually[
Leaves - cooked[
The whole plant is anticoagulant, antiseptic, depurative and febrifuge[
]. It can be used in decoction or the fresh leaves can be crushed and applied externally as a poultice[
]. It is used in the treatment of boils and abscesses, weeping eczema, ringworm, stomatitis, laryngitis, acute tonsillitis, snake and insect bites and traumatic injuries[
A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of swellings[
An infusion of the flowers is used to activate the blood circulation[
The fruit is used to cure skin diseases[
A decoction of the plant is used as a poultice for abscesses, boils, burns etc[
A good ground cover plant, spreading quickly[
] by means of runners[
]. It is rather bare in winter though[
] and should not be grown with small plants since it will drown them out[
]. A good cover for bulbous plants[
Seed - sow spring in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 weeks or more at 15°c. A period of cold stratification may speed up germination. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Division of runners in spring or late summer. Very easy, they can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.