Fragaria lucida Vilm. ex J.Gay
Fragaria vesca chiloensis L.
Potentilla chiloensis (L.) Mabb.
Common Name: Beach Strawberry
Fragaria chiloensis is a herbaceous perennial plant forming a rosette of thick, leathery leaves; it can grow up to 30cm tall. Spreading by means of stolons, the plant can form colonies.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, and is also sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a ground cover.
S. America - Argentina, Chile; N. America - Alaska, British Colombia, Washington, Oregon, California
Grows in scrub near the coast from Chile to western N. America[
]. Sandy beaches, dunes, rocky shores, ocean bluffs, usually in salt spray zone[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position[
]. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced. Grows best near the coast[
The beach strawberry has a large, disjunct range, being found in southern S. America, western N. America and Hawaii. Several subspecies and forms are recognized botanically, though differences are based on vegetative characteristics not on fruit. Therefore we do not have seperate records for each form. The different forms recognized are:-
Fragaria chiloensis subsp. chiloensis forma chiloensis is found in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador.
Fragaria chiloensis subsp. chiloensis forma patagonica Staudt is found in southern Argentina and southern Chile
Fragaria chiloensis subsp. sandwicensis (Decne.) Staudt is found in Hawaii
Fragaria chiloensis subsp. lucida (E. Vilm. ex Gay) Staudt is found in western N. America from California to British Colombia
Fragaria chiloensis subsp. pacifica Staudt is found in western N. America from California to Alaska.
This species, along with Fragaria virginiana, is probably a parent of the cultivated strawberries[
Cultivated for its edible fruit in the Andes[
Plants respond well to a mulch of pine or spruce leaves[
During the growing season new plants are produced on runners - prostrate stems emerging from the leaf axils of mature plants. These runners are used as propagation material[
Some plants have hermaphrodite flowers whilst others are dioecious - in which case both male and female forms would need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. Large, sweet and succulent with a delicate flavour[
]. A delicious treat[
]. The berries can be used to make jams, preserves etc[
A tea can be made from the leaves[
The plant is antiseptic, astringent, emmenagogue, galactogogue and odontalgic[
]. It has been used to regulate the menstrual cycle[
]. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used to treat burns[
Plants spread by means of runners and can be grown as a ground cover[
Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer.
Division of runners, preferably done in mid summer in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop[
]. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.