Alpine strawberries

Family: Rosaceae

Countries: Albania, Asia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, Europe, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Madeira, Middle East, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Siberia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Wales, Yugoslavia

Alpine strawberries or wild strawberries (also known by their botanical name Fragaria vesca) are small, low growing, plants that trail along the ground, spreading via runners; these pretty little plants can grow up to around 15cm (6 inches) tall.  I adore alpine strawberries!  These dainty little plants are utterly charming, with attractive leaves, delightful white flowers, and the delicious red strawberries they produce.

I relish eating alpine strawberries in the garden, these tiny treats have a sweet and tangy, intense flavour.  Alpine strawberries are best eaten when their fruits have fully ripened, when the fruit have developed their darkest colouring and deliver the most heightened flavours.  White and yellow fruited alpine strawberry varieties are also available.  The fruit of white and yellow alpine strawberries enlarge and soften as they ripen.  Alpine strawberries have a long flowering and fruiting period, producing flowers and fruit from spring until autumn.

I find that alpine strawberries thrive in alkaline soils but these easy to grow plants will grow happily in almost any soil, apart from completely waterlogged soils.  Alpine strawberries are utterly charming little plants; they flourish in shade, partial shade, and sunshine.  These easy to grow plants are pretty hardy and are so easy to grow, needing no special care; alpine strawberries cope admirably well with a variety of environments and are drought tolerant.

Alpine strawberries have many uses, but these plants work especially well as edging plants, ground cover, or grown as container plants.  Plants can be grown from seeds or propagated from runners, which can be removed from their mother plant as soon as they have established their own root system.  Alpine strawberry seeds can be sown from February to April; these seeds require warmth (temperatures of 15-20C (59-68F) to germinate and do well in a cold frame or inside an unheated glasshouse.  Outdoor sowings of alpine strawberry seeds are best made from March to April.

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