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Potentilla indica


Potentilla indica (Andrews) Th.Wolf

Family Name: Rosaceae
Synonyms: Fragaria indica, Duchesnea indica
Common Name: Mock Strawberry, 蛇莓

Potentilla indica is an herbaceous plant with bright yellow flowers and tiny red fruit resembling strawberries, hence its common name Mock Strawberry. Its fruit can be made into jam and jelly or eaten raw in salads and the trifoliate leaves can be steeped into herbal tea. This creeping plant grows close to the ground forming thick mats, ideal as a groundcover as it flowers and fruit all year.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Creeper, Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 6 cm to 7 cm


Native Distribution Tropical Asia
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Spontaneous (Naturalised))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Low-growing shrub with a creeping and trailing growth form.
Foliage Compound leaves are composed of 3 ovate to elliptic leaflets with toothed leaf margin. Leaflets are sparsely covered in hairs. 
Stems The stems can grow more than 30 cm long and are sparsely hairy. This species has runners which are stems that lie along the ground and root at the nodes (the part where the leaves are attached).
Flowers Solitary, yellow flowers are composed of 5 obovate petals with numerous short, yellow stamens (pollen-producing part).
Fruit Fleshy, edible fruit resembles a small, bright red strawberry, but it is not juicy or flavourful. The fleshy portion is not a true fruit-- the seed-like structures on the surface are fruits known as achenes.
Habitat In some areas of the USA, this species is considered an invasive weed.
Cultivation It grows best in moist, well-drained soil. Sow seeds by lightly pressing them on the soil surface.
Etymology The genus Potentilla means quite-powerful, for its uses as a medicinal herb. The species indica means from India, but for this species it is loosely used for its large native distribution.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits, Edible Leaves
Food (Fruit or Vegetable)
Others: The leaves are usually not consumed, but can be eaten raw or cooked, as well as used for herbal tea.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping Grown as groundcover as well as in hanging baskets.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits, Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses Suitable for Hanging Baskets, Groundcover
Thematic Landscaping Wildflower Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Invasive / Potentially Invasive

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bee-Attracting, Bird-Attracting (Fruits)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Lots of Water, Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Maintenance Requirements Low
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Compound (Trifoliate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Crenulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Acute
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Runner / Stolon
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Head / Capitulum

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Red
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Bumpy / Tuberculate
Fruit Classification Aggregate Fruit (Syncarp)
Fruit Type
Mature Seed Colour(s) Red
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)

Image Repository



Master ID 199
Species ID 5299
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 August 2022.