What’s the Difference Between Mock and Wild Strawberry Plants?

Yes, there is a difference. And it's actually very interesting.

Strawberries and summer go together like ice cream and hot fudge. You can’t have one without the other!

Whether you grow your own strawberries or run to the grocery store to stay stocked, it’s inevitable that you’ll find these bright red berries everywhere. They’re juicy, sweet and have a ton of health benefits!

But you might have also seen mock strawberries — little red berries on your lawn that look vaguely familiar. They’re definitely not the sweet fruit we’re all used to.

What Is a Mock Strawberry?

Mock strawberries, also known as “false” strawberries, are foraging berries. You may find them in your backyard, so they’re often called backyard strawberries, too. They bear a striking resemblance to wild strawberries with narrow acorn shapes and a bright red body. It’s hard to tell the difference unless you look closely.

Mock Strawberries vs. Wild Strawberries

Mock Strawberries in a hand next to wild strawberries growing outdoors

Reddit user u/KodaKodama posted a picture asking about mock strawberries. Here are the main differences to watch for:

  • Mock strawberries have yellow flowers while wild strawberries have white or slightly pink ones.
  • Mock strawberries grow upwards while wild strawberries grow down. They may be difficult to spot among the leaves.
  • Mock strawberries have a bumpy texture while wild strawberries are more smooth, with seeds that give a small amount of texture. This is one of the most obvious tells.
  • Mock strawberries taste like close to nothing. They’re watery, bland and seemingly lack any flavor at all. You know what wild strawberries taste like. That’s what we know and love.

Can You Eat Mock Strawberries?

Yes. Though bland, they’re edible and harmless. Basically, they’re weeds. If you have a mock strawberry plant in your backyard, the berries are cute reminders that nature is packed with all kinds of interesting growth.

Where to Grow Strawberries

Wild strawberries are easy to grow in many parts of the U.S., in full sun areas with rich, well-drained soil. Strawberries are a perennial plant, so with proper gardening care they should continue producing for several years.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home

Melany Love
Having always wanted a career in writing, Melany couldn't have found a better place than Taste of Home to begin. When she's not scribbling in her notebook or working at her computer, she can be found experimenting with new recipes or relaxing with a book and her cats.