Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Indian Mock-Strawberry: Duchesnea indica

Weed Description:   Perennial from stolons often found in shady locations.  Primarily a weed of landscapes and turfgrass found throughout the southeastern United States.
Seedling:   Cotyledons slightly thickened, with hairs along the margins only.  First two or three leaves simple, subsequent leaves trifoliate.  Stolons develop at least by the time the fifth leaf emerges.
Leaves: Each leaf is composed of three leaflets (trifoliolate).  Leaflets are ovate to elliptic, 3/4-3 inches long, 1/3-1 1/2 inches wide, hairy, with rounded teeth (crenate).  Individual leaflets are connected to the much longer petiole by very small petiolules (1-6 mm long).   Petioles are also hairy.
Stems:  Stolons are hairy and creeping.

Roots:  Stolons.

Flowers:  Occur alone on long stalks (peduncles) that arise from the region between the stem and leaf petioles (leaf axils).   Flowers consist of 5 yellow petals with large leafy sepals beneath.

Fruit:  A red, fleshy, berry, similar to the commercially produced strawberries.  The surface of the fruit contains many small pits (achenes).

Identifying Characteristics: Creeping plants from stolons with trifoliolate leaves and distinctive strawberry-like berry. This weed is similar in appearance to wild strawberry (Frageria virginiana), but wild strawberry has leaflets with pointed teeth on the upper 2/3 to 3/4 of the leaflet only. Additionally, wild strawberry has white flowers, unlike the yellow flowers of Indian mock-strawberry. Certain Cinquefoil species (Potentilla spp.) may also resemble this weed, however sulfur and oldfield cinquefoil have 5 leaflets rather than 3 leaflets of Indian mock-strawberry.