Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Fragaria chiloensis

Common Name
Ornamental Strawberry
CA Native
California Native
Plant Type
Ground Cover
6" - 12" x 1'
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Spring
Dark, Glossy Green
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
  • Seed and Fruit for Birds
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Attractive Berries
  • Low Maintenance
Water Use
  • Low
  • Moderate
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Not Particular
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

This is an evergreen, low growing, wild strawberry which forms 6" - 12" high lush mats and has edible red fruit. It is a native of the coastal bluffs and sand dunes of California. It is a good choice for a low maintenance lawn replacement or naturalized woodland setting. It can withstand light food traffic.

Strawberries can adapt to a wide range of soils but they do best with good drainage. Plant rooted stolons 12" - 18"  apart in late spring in full sun in coastal Marin  and part shade in hotter parts of Marin. Flat-grown plants can be put in at any time. Plant no deeper then the plants were growing in flat. Add an amendment or organic fertilizer to the soil after planting. Mulch well without covering plant to retain moisture. Late winter mowing will encourage vigorous growth in the spring. Apply iron if leaves start to turn yellow. Water weekly the first summer, once established does not need summer water.

Bees are attracted to the flower nectar and birds like the berries.

Can be attacked by the strawberry crinkle virus which is carried by the strawberry aphid. See the UC IPM for treatment options.


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