Coastal, or Beach Strawberry is naturally found all along the coastal regions of the Pacific NW, often seen around dunes and grasslands adjacent to the beach. In Portland gardens the Coastal Strawberry has proven to be a great option for an easy-to-grow, hardy groundcover with shiny tough evergreen leaves, white flowers in spring and summer, and ability to quickly form lush mats of greenery. Despite being a parent of modern cultivated strawberries, you may rarely see the very small fruits on this native in a garden setting. If you do, the seedy fruit is usually best left for the wildlife!
- Plant type/canopy layer: evergreen perennial herbaceous plant/ground layer
- Size at maturity: 1-3” tall, 3-5” clumps with runners that will continuously spread
- Light requirements: full sun to partial shade
- Moisture requirements: dry to moist soil
- Bloom time: spring through summer
- Growth rate/ease: moderate to fast growth rate, very easy to grow, spreads by runners
- Wildlife support: butterflies nectar source, caterpillar host plant, bees and other pollinators
- Native habitat/range: Found in coastal communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Portland Plant List - no.
- Special features & uses: groundcover, evergreen, drought-tolerant, deer resistant
Gardening with Coastal Strawberry: Add coastal strawberries to fill in open dry areas in full sun or part sun locations where you are looking to create an evergreen carpet below shrubs or trees, along garden edges or in rock gardens. Coastal strawberries are very hardy and can be left to fend for themselves, but for faster growth, consider adding compost and extra water to help them take off. Coastal strawberries will spread vigorously by runners. Initial plantings every 1 foot or so will spread to create a full covered mat of greenery within a couple of growing seasons. Easy to propagate in early spring by separating new plants from the runners and transplanting.
Photo Credits 1, 2: Tracy Cozine, Sparrowhawk Native Plants
Photo Credit 3: Nikkie West, Sparrowhawk Native Plants