Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides)
Watercolor on paper 8 x 10 inches

Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides) is a semi-evergreen, creeping herbaceous plant of eastern North American woodlands. It is a member of the Rose family and is related to the cultivated strawberry, Fragaria X ananassa. Both plants have similar-looking three-part leaves which gives rise to the species name fragarioides for Barren Strawberry. But the two plants have very different fruits—those of Barren Strawberry are dry, small, and inedible.

Barren Strawberry is an excellent, low-maintenance groundcover, and I have several large patches in my garden. By the end of winter, the previous season’s leaves are burgundy to purple to almost black. Newly emerging leaves are a fresh green and contrast nicely with the older foliage.

I painted this watercolor in early April, as the new leaves were emerging. I used mostly M Graham transparent watercolors on Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140 lb hot press watercolor paper.