Duchesnea indica - (Andr.) Focke
Indian Mock Strawberry
Other English Common Names: Indian-strawberry
Other Common Names: Indian strawberry
Synonym(s): Potentilla indica (Andr.) T. Wolf
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Duchesnea indica (Andr.) Focke (TSN 25163)
French Common Names: potentille d'Inde
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.140545
Element Code: PDROS0M010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Rose Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Rosales Rosaceae Duchesnea
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Duchesnea indica
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 22Mar1994
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (28Oct2015)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Michigan (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Texas (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, ARexotic, CAexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, FLexotic, GA, IAexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MDexotic, MIexotic, MOexotic, MSexotic, NCexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, SCexotic, TNexotic, TXexotic, VAexotic, WAexotic, WVexotic
Canada BCexotic, ONexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Low/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: An herbaceous perennial ground cover species native to Asia, Duchesnea indica has become well-established in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern states, with scattered establishment to the north and west of this area as well as in the west coast states. It is commercially available as a ground cover for landscaping and sometimes escapes into native habitats. It predominantly invades disturbed open areas, but is shade-tolerant and is also frequently found in woodland and woodland edges, and is rarely found in more intact habitats such as rockhouses and native prairies. Impacts include formation of a dense ground cover, which can be especially problematic for small native perennials. Management by pulling or herbicide is relatively straightforward.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Low
I-Rank Review Date: 27Dec2005
Evaluator: Gravuer, K.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to temperate and tropical Asia, including Afghanistan, China (Liaoning), Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia (Java, Lesser Sunda Islands), and the Philippines (GRIN 2001).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: This species is a non-native that is established outside of cultivation (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Predominantly invades disturbed, open areas, including waste places, fields, pastures, lawns, and roadsides (Correll and Johnston 1970, Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Weakley 2005). Also invades woodlands, often in alluvial situations, as well as woodland edges and old fields (Hough 1983, Rhoads and Block 2000). Single sources listed additional habitats, including prairies (Steyermark 1963), rockhouses (Knouse 2005), and seepage areas/marshes (Correll and Johnston 1970).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Insignificant
Comments: No reports of impacts on ecosystem processes or system-wide parameters were found, and none are suggested given the invaded habitats and the form and behavior of the species. Therefore, assume impacts insignificant.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Low significance
Comments: Can form a ground cover that has greater density than that formed by native ground cover species (e.g. Fragaria sp.; Weigelt et al. 2004). An increase in ground cover density may impact successional processes.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Low significance
Comments: A number of sources noted that this species can overrun or drown out smaller perennials (Plants for a Future 2001, Saylor 2003, Moore and Dolan 2005). It was described as an aggressively spreading ground cover (Saylor 2003, Hilty 2005) that can from a dense carpet (Weigelt et al. 2004). A dense, pervasive ground cover may impact successional processes.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: In Germany, it was felt that this species exhibited the potential risk of replacing the native Fragaria, based on its vigorous growth and rapid spread (Weigelt et al. 2004). Potentially, the species could also threaten Fragaria species native to the U.S.; however, no published reports were found to confirm this.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance
Comments: The majority of sources indicated that this species is found in disturbed, open areas. However, according to Knouse (2005), in Ohio this species often becomes a significant problem in rockhouses (shallow caves) and other marginal habitats where it may crowd out more desirable native species. Rockhouse habitats often harbor rare taxa.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Appears best established in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern states, from PA west to IL and e. TX, south to n. FL. Also scattered establishment to the north in NY, CT, MI, and WI, as well as to the west in IA, MO, NE, KS, OK, and w. TX. Scattered establishment in the west coast states as well, throughout WA, OR, and CA. Generalized range includes approximately 30-50% of the region of interest (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Medium/Low significance
Comments: One focus of impact for this species appears to be the mid-Atlantic states and states immediately to the west (OH, KY, IN) (Thompson 1999, Knouse 2005, MDNR 2004, Moore and Dolan 2005, NJDEP 2004, Swearingen 2005). In addition, it has been listed as invasive in the central southwest/gulf coast region and appears to be widespread there. In the upper Midwest, the plains states, and the Pacific northwest, establishment appears scattered and impacts minimal (e.g. Wisconsin State Herbarium 2005).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Approximately 30-40 ecoregions are invaded, based on visual comparison of the generalized range and ecoregions map (The Nature Conservancy 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: This species prefers moist, well-drained soil in partial shade, although it can also grow in full sun or full shade (Faucon 2005, Hilty 2005, Whitinger 2005). Predominantly invades disturbed, open areas, including waste places, fields, pastures, lawns, and roadsides (Correll and Johnston 1970, Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Weakley 2005). Also invades woodlands, often in alluvial situations, as well as woodland edges and old fields (Hough 1983, Rhoads and Block 2000). Single sources listed additional habitats, including prairies (Steyermark 1963), rockhouses (Knouse 2005), and seepage areas/marshes (Correll and Johnston 1970).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Range apparently undergoing some expansion (NWF 2005), but rapid expansion was not mentioned by any of the sources consulted.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Apparently hardy between zones 5 and 10 (Saylor 2003). Lack of cold tolerance will probably therefore restrict this species from spreading to MN, ND, SD, MT, ID, and WY, while the southern parts of FL, AZ, and CA may be too warm. While western states such as UT and CO appear at least somewhat suitable in terms of temperature, the climate over much of these areas may be too arid for this species to flourish, as it prefers moist soil. There appears to be potential for local expansion in some of the states where it currently exhibits scattered establishment, however.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: This species is relatively available commercially, predominantly for use as a ground cover, although it is also used for bed edging, hanging baskets, and pots (Saylor 2003, Whitinger 2005). Birds are thought to disperse the seeds (Knouse 2005).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Suspected to be undergoing local spread in IL (Hilty 2005) and appears to be doing the same in IN, where occurrence in only 4 counties was reported in 1940 but is nearly ubiquitous currently (Deam 1940, Moore and Dolan 2005). Also suspected to be spreading generally (NWF 2005).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Moderate significance
Comments: Appears to invade relatively intact woodland habitats, although these sometimes have naturally open canopies (Hough 1983, Rhoads and Block 2000). However, the species is also known to be shade-tolerant (e.g. Faucon 2005). Possession of runners probably also enables the species to spread into less-disturbed areas from footholds in more easily-invaded environments.

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Widely naturalized outside the United States, including Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, parts of Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa (Kartesz 1999, Randall 2002). Appears to invade mostly similar habitats.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: This species reproduces by both seeds and stolons (Muenscher 1955, Thompson 1999), which spread quickly and may root at the nodes (Plants for a Future 2001). Fragments appear capable of establishing new plants, but it is unclear how often fragmentation and fragment dispersal occurs. This species is also tolerant of mowing (Hilty 2005).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Low significance
Comments: Control does not appear particularly difficult. Mechanical control appears to be the preferred method, although this must be accomplished by pulling or raking since the species is low-growing and tolerant of mowing (Muenscher 1955, Hilty 2005). Mechanical control will be most successful with small plants on moist soils. Alternatively, plants can be spot-treated with a broad-leaf herbicide (Thompson 1999).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Low significance
Comments: If all crowns are not removed during the first treatment, follow-up will be required (Thompson 1999).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Damage from pulling or raking should be relatively minor, but if the infestation is large and a general broad-leaf herbicide is required, impacts will be more significant.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Low significance
Comments: The invaded habitats do not appear to pose major access problems. However, the fact that many infestations start as garden escapes may mean that some target areas are privately-owned.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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