Herb: Mock Strawberry
Latin name: Duchesnea indica
Synonyms: Duchesnea fragiformis, Fragaria indica, Potentilla indica
Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Medicinal use of Mock Strawberry:The whole plant is anticoagulant, antiseptic, depurative and febrifuge. It can be used in decoction or the fresh leaves can be crushed and applied externally as a poultice. It is used in the treatment of boils and abscesses, weeping eczema, ringworm, stomatitis, laryngitis, acute tonsillitis, snake and insect bites and traumatic injuries. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of swellings. An infusion of the flowers is used to activate the blood circulation. The fruit is used to cure skin diseases. A decoction of the plant is used as a poultice for abscesses, boils, burns etc.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Shady places in woods, grassy slopes, ravines in low mountains, all over Japan.
Edible parts of Mock Strawberry:Fruit - raw. Dry and insipid. Certainly rather tasteless, but it is not dry. A flavour somewhat like a water melon according to some people, but this is possibly the product of a strained imagination.The fruit contains about 3.4% sugar, 1.5% protein, 1.6% ash. Vitamin C is 6.3mg per 100ml of juice. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter with the appearance and texture of a strawberry but very little flavour. A clump 2.5m? yields about 150g of fruit annually. Leaves - cooked.
Other uses of the herb:A good ground cover plant, spreading quickly by means of runners. It is rather bare in winter though and should not be grown with small plants since it will drown them out. A good cover for bulbous plants.
Propagation of Mock Strawberry:Seed - sow spring in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 weeks or more at 15°C. A period of cold stratification may speed up germination. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division of runners in spring or late summer. Very easy, they can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.
Cultivation of the herb:Shady places in woods, grassy slopes, ravines in low mountains, all over Japan.
Known hazards of Duchesnea indica:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.