The ‘wild strawberry’, which grows up and down the Mountains, is not a strawberry at all. The Latin name of the plant is ‘Potentilla indica’ whereas strawberries are ‘Fragaria’. The berries of ‘Potentilla indica’ or mock strawberry are perfectly edible, which translates to bland and tasteless. The flowers are yellow. The real woodland strawberries on the other hand ‘fragaria vesca’ a real treat for your tastebuds and served in very upmarket French restaurant. Their flowers are white or pinkish. The usual garden strawberry is ‘fagaria ananasa’.
Before you rip out perfectly edible mock strawberries altogether, let me share that this plant has indeed some virtues other than tasting bland. Interestingly, the herb is used in Chinese medicine as an anticoagulant (a herb which prevents blood clotting), detoxifier, and antiseptic, as well to reduce fever.
Studies were undertaken for the mock strawberries ability to stop HIV and some forms of cancer spreading in the body.
The leaves of the mock strawberries make a nice tea and can be used as a potherb. Due to the recent drought, I did not try out so far. Even the mock strawberry looked wilted! But I will keep you updated of our latest culinary experiment.
The real alpine strawberry plants can be purchased here.
Latin name:or ‘Potentilla indica’ or ‘Duchesnea indica’
Common names: Indian strawberry