Are Wild Strawberries Edible?
They’re everywhere. Little red berries on creeping plants. They’re a miniature version of strawberries. And they look like they’d be nice to eat.
But are they edible? Are they safe to snack on?
I’ve heard that wild strawberries are poisonous, but I’ve been wanting to know for sure what to tell the kids about these bright berries. Up until now, I’ve just been telling them I didn’t know if they are safe, so they weren’t to put them in their mouths. But after doing some researching today, I’ve discovered exactly what we needed to know.
The short answer is: YES, wild strawberries are edible, and delicious, and even used for medicinal purposes!
However… you need to be sure that the strawberries you are thinking of foraging for are truly “wild” and not “false” strawberries.
False, or “mock” strawberries are “not fit for human consumption”… whatever that means. I can’t find anything that says they are poisonous or harmful, just that they don’t taste good.
There are a few different ways to tell the difference between a true wild strawberry and it’s deceptive counterpart. The easiest for me to remember are…
- Wild Strawberries have white blooms.
- Mock Strawberries have yellow blooms.
- Wild Strawberries will have a strong strawberry scent when crushed.
- Mock Strawberries don’t smell like anything when crushed.
So, armed with this new knowledge, I took my oldest daughter (Jada) outside with me to a spot where we knew of some berries growing. Since there were no blooms on the plant, only berries, we went right to crushing them to test their scent.
And we both agreed. No scent. Not true wild strawberries.
At least we know for sure now, though. And it was fun exploring nature and learning a little something with my girl.