Indentifying A Plant That Looks Like Strawberry Plant - Knowledgebase Question

Andrews Afb, MD
Question by KlingerJK
June 2, 2001
I have discovered a plant with small red berries that may be strawberries, but they are very small and I have never seen strawberries at new growth so I am unsure. As I said the berries are small, red, round with a "rough" texture. The leaves look more like a pointed oval than round like a strawberry plant, and it's flowers are purple. It is growing wild among the weeds and I want to be safe and know whether my four year old should not touch them. Thank you for your help. Kandi Klinger


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Answer from NGA
June 2, 2001

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You may be describing Potentilla, a perennial plant which can either be spreading like a groundcover or grow into a clump. Other kinds are shrubby. All have leaves divided into three to seven leaflets, shaped almost fan-like and reminiscent of strawberry leaves. The fruits are not considered edible, although they are not toxic. For safety in the garden it's always a good idea to teach children not to taste leaves or berries without your permission.

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