Indian Strawberry, Duchesnea or Potentilla indica, is a common flower of late spring and early summer. There are conflicting views whether or not this plant is poisonous. In John “Lofty” Wiseman’s SAS Survival Handbook he states that, “the fruits are highly poisonous, sometimes toxic.” Other herbalist, foragers and researchers think otherwise even stating that you, “might die of disappointment” from the lack of flavor.
Keep your eyes and ears open and your powder dry.
Indian Strawberry Sources:
Audubon Guides Box Set – Birds, Tree, Wildflowers & Mammals. Computer Software. Green Mountain Digital. Version: 2.3. Web. Jul 10, 2014.
Brill, Steve. Wild Edibles Plus. Computer Software. WinterRoot LLC. Version 1.5. 2012. Web. Feb. 15, 2014.
Deane, Green. Indian Strawberry. Eat the Weeds and Other Things. Web.
Foster, Steven and James A. Duke. The Peterson Field Guide Series; A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. 2nd. ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. Print. pg. 111
Newcomb, Lawrence. Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977. Print. pg. 240-241
United States Department of Agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Services. Web.
Wiseman, John. The SAS Survival Handbook, How to Survive in the Wild, in any Climate, on Land or at Sea. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1996. Print. pg.92
To boost the flavor of the leaves for tea bruises them and allow to sit in a pile or crock indoors or sheltered area, thus stimulating a “ferment” for 24-36 hours. This enhances the flavor (tannic acid in the leaves leaves mellows and deepens).
Then proceed to dry them. I started using these invasive plants as tea to clear them out of my garden.
Three years later I do believe they are winning the “space war”
Interesting, thanks for sharing.