Fragaria chiloensis

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Fragaria chiloensis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Fragaria
F. chiloensis
Binomial name
Fragaria chiloensis

Fragaria chiloensis, the beach strawberry, Chilean strawberry, or coastal strawberry, is one of two species of wild strawberry that were hybridized to create the modern garden strawberry (F. × ananassa). It is native to the Pacific Ocean coasts of North and South America.


It is an evergreen plant growing to 15–30 centimetres (6–12 inches) tall. The relatively thick leaves[1] are glossy green and trifoliate, each leaflet around 5 cm (2 in) long. The stems are covered with long hairs and the leaves sometimes have a dense fringe of hairs. The flowers are white, produced in spring and early summer. The fruit, a strawberry, is edible,[2] red on the surface[1] and white inside.


All strawberries have a base haploid count of 7 chromosomes. F. chiloensis is octoploid, having eight sets of these chromosomes for a total of 56. These eight genomes pair as four distinct sets, of two different types, with little or no pairing between sets. The genome composition of the octoploid strawberry species has generally been indicated as AAA'A'BBB'B'. The A-type genomes were likely contributed by diploid ancestors related to F. vesca or similar species, while the B-type genomes seem to descend from a close relative of F. iinumae. The exact process of hybridization and speciation which resulted in the octoploid species is still unknown, but it appears that the genome compositions of both F. chiloensis and F. virginiana (and by extension the cultivated octoploid strawberry as well) are identical.


Flower of F. chiloensis subsp. chiloensis forma chiloensis

There are a number of subspecies and forms:

  • Fragaria chiloensis subsp. chiloensis forma chiloensis
  • Fragaria chiloensis subsp. chiloensis forma patagonica (Argentina, Chile)
  • Fragaria chiloensis subsp. lucida (E. Vilm. ex Gay) Staudt (coast of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California)
  • Fragaria chiloensis subsp. pacifica Staudt (coast of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California)
  • Fragaria chiloensis subsp. sandwicensis (Decne.) StaudtʻŌhelo papa (Hawaii)

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Illustrated in Amédée-François Frézier's account of his voyage to South America (1716)

The plant's natural range is the Pacific Ocean coasts of North and South America, and also Hawaii, where it grows mostly on sand beaches above the tidal zone in temperate to warm-temperate regions. Migratory birds are thought to have dispersed F. chiloensis from the Pacific coast of North America to the mountains of Hawaii, Chile, and Argentina.[3]

Amédée-François Frézier (1682–1773) was the first to bring back specimens of the species to the Old World.


Chaetosiphon fragaefolii, the strawberry aphid, is a bug species found feed on F. chiloensis in Chile. It is a vector of the strawberry mild yellow-edge virus.[4]


Its fruit is sold as a local delicacy in some South American produce markets.


  1. ^ a b Thompson, Mary; Thompson, Steven (1977). Huckleberry Country: Wild Food Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Berkeley, CA: Wilderness Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-911824-53-7. OCLC 3380547.
  2. ^ Fagan, Damian (2019). Wildflowers of Oregon: A Field Guide to Over 400 Wildflowers, Trees, and Shrubs of the Coast, Cascades, and High Desert. Guilford, CT: FalconGuides. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-4930-3633-2. OCLC 1073035766.
  3. ^ Sauer, Jonathan D. (1993). Historical Geography of Crop Plants: A Select Roster. CRC Press. pp. 128–129. ISBN 0-8493-8901-1.
  4. ^ Lavandero, B; Rojas, P; Ramirez, C. C.; Salazar, M; Caligari, P. D. (2012). "Genetic Structure of the Aphid, Chaetosiphon fragaefolii, and Its Role as a Vector of the Strawberry yellow edge virus to a Native Strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis in Chile". Journal of Insect Science. 12 (110): 1–13. doi:10.1673/031.012.11001. PMC 3605023. PMID 23438175.

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