Siberian barren strawberry, Waldsteinia    Perennial of the Month-- November 2004 

(wald-stein' ee-ah) (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name: Barren-strawberry (fragarioides)--pictured on left, Siberian barren-strawberry (ternata)--pictured

Family: Rose, Rosaceaewaldsteinia leaf and flower drawing

Height x width: 6" x 36" or more (fragarioides), 10" x 18" (ternata)

Growth rate; habit: moderate, rather dense groundcover; low spreading (fragarioides) to mounded (ternata)

Foliage: evergreen, glossy (fragarioides) to slightly shiny (ternata), divided into three wedge-shaped and toothed leaflets each 1-2" long (fragarioides), to rosettes with short petioles and larger (ternata

Flowers: yellow, 5 petals is in Rose family, to 1/2" across in 3-8 flowered heliocoid cymes on scapes to 4" long, late spring to early summer; tend to be hidden under foliage (fragarioides) or more obvious (ternata)

(drawing: USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 2: 269.)

Hardiness: USDA zones 3-7

Soil: moist to dry, not wet

Light: part shade south, sun to part shade north (sufficient moisture if sun); tolerates but much less growth in full and dry shade

Pests and problems: none serious

Landscape habit, uses: native or woodland gardens, rock gardens, beneath shrubs and in between hostas, edging or filling areas along paths

Other interest: native to east and central U.S. (fragarioides) or Asia (ternata, geoides); not as vigorous as similar relative Duchesnea; these two species above are most common of five; not new but underutilized; small inedible fruits resembling strawberries, hence the names (Fragaria being the genus for strawberry); native species may have become threatened or endangered in the wild in certain states, so make sure plants are purchased nursery-grown in their entirety; under ideal conditions vigorous growth may cause it to be listed as "weedy"; 

Other culture: above species do not perform well in hot and wet climates as in deep South, better in Pacific Northwest and Northeast; better in South are natives to that area parviflora (zone 6) and lobata (zone 8); low maintenance

Propagation: division in spring or fall, rooted layered stems (fragarioides), seed sown in warm and moist (germinates erratically)

Sources: Sunny Border Nurseries (wholesale), Tripple Brook Farm, other complete perennial nurseries local/online/mail-order

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