Native American Strawberry By Coy Domecq



I will admit being a little impatient for spring to begin to unfold. Part of what propels my impatience is the arrival of strawberries. After enduring a seemingly interminable winter, one of the first rewards is the appearance of the low-growing plants that yield the sweetness of the coming months.
Many people are familiar with the pick-your-own strawberry plots. Fewer harvesters know about the berries that do not grow on black plastic. The wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) is native only to North America. Although there are other wild strawberries the F. virginiana, also known as the Coastal strawberry, is regarded as the sweetest of the foraged strawberries.
Native American populations and settlers relished the wild strawberry and consumed the fresh fruit raw, dried, cooked and as a tea. Not only were the distinctive taste and the value of nutritional properties appreciated, but it was also used as a medical concoction. The fruits are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C content. The leaves were used as a poultice to treat burns and abrasions. The roots were chewed to reduce gum inflammation and root teas were used to treat gastrointestinal and urinary disorders.
There may be a question about the “other” common wild strawberry. There is a mock strawberry (currently classified as Duchesnea indica) that looks very similar to the Virginia plant. There are some significant differences, including blossom color and fruit placement but the main difference is that the mock strawberry fruit, while not toxic, has no taste. In comparison, I think you will find that the Coastal strawberry produces a greater volume of the long-awaited refrain…Spring has arrived.
Native American Strawberry By Coy Domecq Native American Strawberry By Coy Domecq Reviewed by ken morgan on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5
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