The False strawberry (also known as the Mock or Indian strawberry) is one of Martin Crawford’s ground cover plants. It’s currently identified as Potentilla indica, although better known as Duchesnea indica.
It’s usually shade tolerant, and evergreen. Its leaves are edible – Martin uses lighter green leaves in salad. PFAF recommends cooking leaves; I have seen references to them being used for herbal tea.
The plant produces yellow flowers through the season, which are followed by red fruits that – at first glance – look very much like strawberries. And this gives the plant a bit of a problem with humans, because we put the fruits in our mouths and expect them to taste like strawberries, but they don’t. They’re quite insipid.
Martin adds the fruits to salads, for their watery crunch. They could also be used to bulk out other, tastier, fruits in jams and pies and things like that.
Native to Asia, the false strawberry has now made its way to quite a lot of the world (and in some places it may become weedy). But it doesn’t mind being trodden on occasionally, so it’s a great ground cover choice for a forest garden.