Mocking Berries

strawberry

My yard is full of Strawberries – crawling across the patio, creeping over the lawn, growing around the a/c unit. Too bad they’re all fakers.

Delicious Wild Strawberries bloom white flowers that develop drooping mini-versions of the strawberries we know and love. The Mock Strawberries (Potentilla indica) growing in my yard, in comparison, display yellow flowers and upright little red fruits so tempting to behold. It’s like the little plant begs, “Look at this beautiful, juicy berry. Don’t you want to eat it?” Unfortunately, the fruit is totally flavorless. Just a tiny little ball of seeds and water. The little jerk-plant “mocks” us.

There may be hope though. Mock Strawberries came from India or south Asia where they’re called She Mei (Snake Strawberry). Apparently, the plant is used to control mosquito larvae in China (1959 Compendium of Chinese Indigenous Pesticides). I’m not quite sure how that works, but I’ll be conducting my own experiments this summer. If successful, I won’t feel so betrayed.