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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects



Fragaria chiloensis

Coastal Strawberry

Flowering Period: Apr, May, Jun April May June
Flower color: white
Full sun Mostly sunny
Moist soil Dry soil


At a Glance: Spreads low across ground with runners. White flowers and small red strawberries.

Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
Growth Form: Herb.
Stems: Hairy red runners can send out roots of their own.
Leaves: Basal on long stalks to 20 cm (8 in); with 3 leaflets each; leaflets thick, leathery and strongly veined, coarsely toothed, dark green above with silvery undersides; leaf size: 3-6 cm (1-2.5 in) across.
Flowers: 5-7 white petals; each plant has 5-9 flowers on leafless flowering stalks to 30 cm (12 in) tall; flower size: 3.5 cm (1.5 in) across.
Flowering Period: April, May, June.
Fruits: Sweet and juicy red strawberries up to 1.5 cm (.6 in) diameter.

Fragaria chiloensis
Photo © 2003, Starflower Foundation
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Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%

Never found far from the sea.

wet
moist
dry

low elevation
mid elevation
sub-alpine
high elevation


Soil Preferences
Commonly found on dunes and sea bluffs.
sandy soils
gravelly soils
clay soils
muddy soils
peaty soils
well drained soils
shallow soils
deep soils
acidic soils
basic soils
humic soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
mineral soils
organic soils

Habitat Preferences
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Shallow pools
Sloughs
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Emergent wetlands
Scrub-shrub wetlands
Forested wetlands
Bogs, fens
Seeps, springs
Shorelines and Riparian:
Lake shores
Bog margins
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
Riparian corridors
River bars
Floodplains
Bottomlands
Alluvial areas
Saltwater Areas:
In or near saltwater
Mud flats
Tidal areas
Estuaries
Saltmarshes
Brackish water
Seashores
Coastal dunes or beaches
Rocky or Gravelly Areas:
Coastal bluffs
Cliffs
Rocky slopes
Outcrops
Crevices
Glacial outwash
Gullies
Slide areas
Sub-alpine and Alpine:
Heaths
Snow beds
Tundra
Avalanche tracks
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Open forests
Coniferous forests
Old growth forests
Deciduous forests
Mixed forests
Nurse logs
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
Thickets
Meadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areas
Disturbed Areas:
Roadsides
Trailsides
Logged sites
Burned areas
Disturbed sites

Wildlife Value
Berries
Seeds
Nectar for hummingbirds
Nectar for butterflies
Host for insect larvae
Thickets and shelter
Thorny or protective cover

Birds: Robins, towhees, pine grosbeaks, waxwings, and grouse eat the fruit.
Insects: Sara orangetip butterflies are attracted by the flowers.
Mammals: Deer feed on the berries. Fruit eaten by mice and other small mammals.


Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts
Material Uses: Stlatlimx girls made headbands and belts out of braided runners.
Medicinal Uses: The Quileute chewed the leaves and applied them as a poultice on burns; the Skokomish made tea from the entire plant for diarrhea; the Haida used the leaves as an ingredient in a female tonic;
Food Uses: Strawberries eaten fresh, not dried because they are too juicy; the Saanich and Mainland Comox steeped the leaves to make a sweet, clear tea.
Landscape Uses: Nice, low-growing ground cover. Can be mown and walked on.
Name Info: Common name is accurate, it usually only grows in coastal areas.


Suggested References



The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.