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Edible uses


Fruit - raw[1][2]. Dry and insipid[3]. Certainly rather tasteless, but it is not dry[K]. A flavour somewhat like a water melon according to some people, but this is possibly the product of a strained imagination[K].The fruit contains about 3.4% sugar, 1.5% protein, 1.6% ash[4]. Vitamin C is 6.3mg per 100ml of juice[4]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter with the appearance and texture of a strawberry but very little flavour[K]. A clump 2.5m² yields about 150g of fruit annually[4]. Leaves - cooked[5].



Material uses

A good ground cover plant, spreading quickly[6] by means of runners[7]. It is rather bare in winter though[K] and should not be grown with small plants since it will drown them out[8]. A good cover for bulbous plants[7].
There are no material uses listed for Duchesnea indica.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The whole plant is anticoagulant, antiseptic, depurative and febrifuge[9][10]. It can be used in decoction or the fresh leaves can be crushed and applied externally as a poultice[9]. It is used in the treatment of boils and abscesses, weeping eczema, ringworm, stomatitis, laryngitis, acute tonsillitis, snake and insect bites and traumatic injuries[9].

A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of swellings[9][10][11]. An infusion of the flowers is used to activate the blood circulation[11]. The fruit is used to cure skin diseases[11].

A decoction of the plant is used as a poultice for abscesses, boils, burns etc[11].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow spring in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 weeks or more at 15°c. A period of cold stratification may speed up germination. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division of runners in spring or late summer. Very easy, they can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Duchesnea indica. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a moist but well-drained soil in a sunny position[12]. Plants are at their best in semi-shade, though they are not too fussy[7] and can succeed in quite dense shade[8][7]. They also grow well in a rock garden[13].

Plants are hardy to about -20°c[14].

A very ornamental plant[13] but it can be invasive, spreading freely by means of runners[15]. Plants are more or less evergreen, though they can be browned by severe frosts[7]. Plants sometimes self-sow in British gardens[7].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Duchesnea indica. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Duchesnea indica.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Duchesnea indica
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? 1.01.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)
    4. ? Parmar. C. and Kaushal. M.K. Wild Fruits of the Sub-Himalayan Region. Kalyani Publishers. New Delhi. (1982-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Royal Horticultural Society. Ground Cover Plants. Cassells. ISBN 0-304-31089-1 (1989-00-00)
    7. ? Matthews. V. The New Plantsman. Volume 1, 1994. Royal Horticultural Society ISBN 1352-4186 (1994-00-00)
    8. ? Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    9. ? ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
    10. ? Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
    11. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    12. ? Bird. R. (Editor) Focus on Plants. Volume 5. (formerly 'Growing from seed') Thompson and Morgan. (1991-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    15. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    16. ? Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation) Smithsonian Institution (1965-00-00)
    17. ? [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)