Barren Strawberry

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An early flowering strawberry plant of broad-leaf woodlands; the petals have gaps between them.


There are two common strawberry plants that can be seen in the wild, the wild strawberry which actually produces ripe fruit and the barren strawberry (Potentilla sterilis) in which the fruit does not ripen; indeed the fruit does not appear! Fortunately that is not the only difference but they can still be bit of a challenge to tell apart.

They flower at slightly different times with the barren strawberry coming out earlier in spring that the wild strawberry but the real clue is in the flower itself. The barren strawberry has gaps between the petals which the wild srawberry does not have. You might also notice that the barren strawberry has bluish green leaves rather than the bright green of the wild stawberry.

This is very much a plant of the woodland, especially clearings where the spring sunshine reaches.


Common Name Barren Strawberry
Scientific Name Potentilla sterilis
Family Rose family - Rosaceae
Status Locally common
Interest Level
Related Species - CLICK TO VIEW Rose Family - Rosaceae
Flower Colour Group White
Flower Visible
  • 02 - February
  • 03 - March
Look for Early flowering strawberry with gaps between the petals

This species has been seen at the following sites featured on the Nature of Dorset:

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