Berry season is in full swing. So far this week, my family and I have gathered red mulberries (Morus rubra), white mulberries (Morus alba), red raspberries (Rubus strigosus), black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis), serviceberries (Amelanchier species), wild strawberries (Fragaria virginiana) and woodland strawberries (Fragaria vesca).
We almost missed out on the woodland strawberries, there was something a little different about them.
While we have been picking from a bunch of patches of regular wild strawberries for several weeks now, I have been keeping track of a small but dense patch of woodland strawberries. They grew steadily, but never turned red.
I started to really wonder what was going on when recently they seemed to be disappearing. Was someone or something eating them unripe? Today I decided to see if they felt ripe, and they did.
Both Samuel Thayer and Euell Gibbons have great chapters on the different species of wild strawberries in their respective books, but I didn’t see anything on white strawberries. I usually don’t really use the internet to identify edible plants, but a quick search showed that there are several different white cultivars of woodland wild strawberries.
Given that the plants perfectly matched the description of Fragaria vesca in Nature’s Garden, that I had seen the plants in flower, and that multiple websites described white varieties, I headed back over to the small patch and sampled not only my first woodland strawberries, but my first white strawberries. Like I had read, they were pretty good, not quite as flavorful as wild strawberries, but well worth the walk.
Thanks for taking the time to read, don’t forget to take the time to get out and have your own adventures.