You might be wondering about the place your strawberry plant is growing in your garden. You might have forgotten where it was planted. As leaves appear earlier than the strawberries themselves, you might recognize their leaves.
The leaves of a strawberry plant can be an identifier for you with their distinctive shape, arrangement and colour. But, “What do strawberry leaves look like?” Do you know?
Well, even if you don’t, you will find as I answer this question in this article with all my experience of growing strawberry plants for years. You can easily spot strawberry plants in your garden with the knowledge of its leaves provided in this article.
What Do Strawberry Leaves Look Like
Fragaria x ananassa, commonly called strawberries, are perennial plants that grow in USDA Zone 3 to 11. They are available in the spring till summer.
Strawberry plants have leaves at the bottom with only three leaflets in one stem. The leaflets grow in a cloverleaf fashion. The leaves are usually dark green but are also light green in a few varieties.
Strawberry plants have shiny leaves with a central vein from stem to tip. They have serrated edges and rounded ends.
The leaves grow from the runners above the ground and are only 4 to 6 inches above. They are mild, have a fresh grassy, fruity flavour, herbal notes and a constricting finish.
Strawberry leaves grow on plants that spread out low on the ground with horizontal runners. The runners turn into roots as it grows to create new plants.
Strawberry plants are easy to spot due to their toothed edges, leaves and hairy undersides. Along with the leaves, strawberries can also be identified with their red fruits and small white flowers. The leaves can often be overshadowed by their attractive red fruits as it matures.
Medicinal Value of Strawberry Leaves
All the parts of the strawberry plant can be used for medicinal purposes, including the leaves, fruit and stem. Strawberry leaves have a high amount of nutrition and are an essential ingredient in medicines and also in cosmetics.
They are a great iron source, contain antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and tannin. They also possess components with immune-boosting properties, such as ellagic acid.
The leaves of a strawberry plant can be consumed either by cooking or even raw. The natural leaves are also used in salads. Fresh or dried leaves are also widely used in tea. This tea is treated as a caffeine-free beverage and a tonic to digestive ailments and reduce inflammation.
Strawberry leaves can also be used to flavour your food and make you look better.
It also contains citric and malic acids, sugar, mucilage, pectin, woody fibre and water, which make it a great laxative or diuretic. Its leaves can also be paired with mascarpone, almond, sour cream, melon, raspberry, vanilla, balsamic vinegar and orange to extract its medicinal value.
Values Strawberry Leaves Carry
Strawberry leaves carry various cultural, historical as well as geographical values. They provide us with information about its importance and use in different cultures.
Strawberry leaves were used as a disinfectant and a treatment for gastrointestinal problems by Cherokee, Blackfoot, Iroquois and Ojibwa tribes and in North America.
The plant overall is used as an antiseptic due to the presence of tannins in a larger amount. The leaves were usually boiled to consume. It is believed to help your body purify the blood.
The tribes also used to masticate, dehydrate, or mix the squashed leaves with other elements to apply to sores and injuries. Along with the leaves, the fruit was also used as a health boosting medicine, and the fragrance of the plant was used for hunting wild animals.
Strawberry plants have been growing natively in North America since ancient times. Nowadays, they can be found in Europe, Asia as well as Australia. The leaves are available in wildlife and also at selected fresh markets.
Diseases in Strawberry Leaves
The leaves of a strawberry plant can suffer from various diseases. You can easily identify them on the basis of their appearance.
- Common Leaf Spot
Common leaf spot is a disease in a strawberry plant caused by the fungus Ramularia tulasneii. It is spread in fall and winter by the rains or by irrigation. It causes the leaves to have spots with dark brown edges that get larger and finally kill them.
- Angular Leaf Spot
It is triggered by the fungus called Xanthomonas fragariae. It is seen both on top and the bottom of the leaves. There are spots on the leaf at the bottom that looks waterlogged, with rust-coloured areas on the top.
- Leaf Blotch
Leaf blotch is caused by Zythia fragariae. Heavy rain facilitates the growth of this fungus. There are brown patches at the edges, along with dark spots inside them.
- Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew curls the leaves in an inward direction. There will be a purplish hue on the edges of the leaves, whereas the bottom side appears to be coated in a white powder. Strawberry leaves in coastal areas are most likely to develop this disease due to the humid environment.
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Strawberry plants appear very attractive due to the red fruits it possesses. But, the unique leaves of this plant are the thing that helps to identify them when they are young.
It also has a broad range of therapeutic values and is often used for medical purposes. They also carry various cultural as well as historical information regarding its use in different cultures.
They are also historically as well as geographically important. The knowledge of various diseases that occur in the leaves of a strawberry plant can be crucial for the identification of this plant.
You can easily identify a strawberry plant with the knowledge of its leaves provided in this article.
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