Strawberry (Fragaria species)
Strawberry is a small, low growing plant with a three-leaved growth pattern with coarsely serrated edges growing on short, scaly stalks. The terminal tooth on the leaf will be smaller than the other serrated teeth. It has small, white flowers, typically with 5-6 petals, growing solitary on short stalks. They are usually produced during the spring. Its fruit is red and fleshy with a pitted surface and grows on stems shorter than the stems the leaves grow from.
Where to Find: Strawberries are found in the north temperate zone and also in the high mountains of the southern Western Hemisphere. Strawberries prefer open, sunny areas and slightly sandy soil. They may be found in fields, lakeshores, stream banks, and meadows. They are often found in disturbed areas. They are commonly planted in gardens.
Edible Parts: The fruit is edible fresh, cooked, or dried and can range from sweet to tart in taste. Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C. You can also eat the plant’s leaves or dry them to make a tea.
Care should be taken with strawberries and other farm foods that have similar, pitted skins. In areas where human fertilizer is used, even bleach will not be able to effectively remove all bacteria.
Note: Eat only white-flowering true strawberries. Other similar plants without white flowers can be poisonous.
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