About Indian Strawberry Posted on 19 Aug 07:23 , 1 comment
There's been quite a buzzzzz over our latest additions here at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.
Last week we added Dill Bouquet, Wild Strawberry and Indian Strawberry.
Indian Strawberry is considered a "mock strawberry" because it isn't actually a strawberry.
From Eat The Weeds, "On first glance the P. indica looks like you have found yourself a brilliantly red, juicy strawberry. And that is probably the public relations problem P. indica has. It’s not what people expect so a lot of commentators dismiss it as worthless, but that’s a bit unfair. The fruit is 3.4% sugar, 1.5% protein and 1.6% ash. It has 6.3 mg of Vitamin C per 100 ml of juice. An eight-foot patch will produce about 5.5 ounces fruit annually, about the same as wild strawberries, and you can cook the leaves as a green. Some folks think the fruit has a hint of watermelon flavor. Others say it is sour so there may be some genetic diversity there, either in the plant or our taste buds. There is certainly no harm adding some of the plant to your wilderness stew."
From Bellarmine University, "The entire plant is medicinal as an anticoagulant, antiseptic, depurative (purifier) and febrifuge (fever reducer). The herb can be used for stomatitis (an inflammation of the mucus lining), laryngitis, and acute tonsillitis. The fresh leaves can be crushed and applied externally as a medicinal poultice, a soft and moist mass. It is used in the treatment of boils and absesses, burns, weeping eczema, ringworm, snake and insect bites and traumatic injuries. A decoction of the leaves is medicinal and used in the treatment of swellings. An infusion, or liquid extract, of the flowers is used to activate the blood circulation. The Indian Strawberry can also cure skin diseases. In folklore it is said that in India it is to be used as an offering to the gods. The Wild Indian Strawberry is used extensively in China as a medicinal herb, and is being studied for its ability to stop the HIV virus and some forms of cancer from spreading through the body. "
So how do we grow Indian Strawberry?
Start Strawberry seeds for this rare ground cover plant that will get lots of attention! It is an Indian Strawberry plant with lovely yellow blooms, and it produces small red Strawberries all summer long on a creeping evergreen carpet. Indian Strawberry is well-suited for hanging over a wall or as a ground cover plant. Indian Strawberry ground cover is naturalized throughout the United States, and it is found growing in shady places in woods and grassy slopes. Indian Strawberry prefers a moist, but well-drained soil in a partially sunny position. Once Indian Strawberry plants are established, the matted root sends out runners to set new plants. Indian Strawberry leaves are light green and finely haired. Indian Strawberry flowers are small, yellow, and are 5 petaled. They first appear in April and will bloom throughout the summer until fall. The fruit is small, about 1/2 inch round. It is edible, but many say the taste is not noteworthy. Birds, however, love the red fruit. Another common name for this variety is Mock Strawberry ground cover.
For most of the US: Sow the Strawberry seeds from January to April indoors. Use quality seed starter mix, and small pots or starter trays. Sow the Wild Strawberry ground cover seeds on the surface and press the seed into the mix. Keep the soil damp but not wet, and seal the starter tray or pots inside a plastic bag until after germination. When the Strawberry seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant them into 3 inch pots, and grow them on in cooler conditions until large enough to plant outdoors. After all danger of frost has passed, harden the young Wild Strawberry plants over a period of 7 - 10 days before planting outdoors in their permanent location.
For Florida growers: Plant strawberries during the fall months--late September through October. Flower and berry growth begins in November; the harvest generally takes place in the months of April and May.
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