Where are strawberries native?

Strawberry

strawberryOverview of efforts to create more-flavourful strawberries.Contunico © ZDF Enterprises GmbH, MainzSee all videos for this article

Strawberry, (genus Fragaria), genus of more than 20 species of flowering plants in the rose family (Rosaceae) and their edible fruit. Strawberries are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and cultivated varieties are widely grown throughout the world. The fruits are rich in vitamin C and are commonly eaten fresh as a dessert fruit, are used as a pastry or pie filling, and may be preserved in many ways. The strawberry shortcake—made of fresh strawberries, sponge cake, and whipped cream—is a traditional American dessert.

strawberryThe flowers and fruits of a garden strawberry plant (Fragaria ×ananassa). This hybrid species is cultivated worldwide. Ed Young/Corbis

Strawberries are low-growing herbaceous plants with a fibrous root system and a crown from which arise basal leaves. The leaves are compound, typically with three leaflets, sawtooth-edged, and usually hairy. The flowers, generally white, rarely reddish, are borne in small clusters on slender stalks arising, like the surface-creeping stems, from the axils of the leaves. As a plant ages, the root system becomes woody, and the “mother” crown sends out runners (e.g., stolons) that touch ground and root, thus enlarging the plant vegetatively. Botanically, the strawberry fruit is considered an “accessory fruit” and is not a true berry. The flesh consists of the greatly enlarged flower receptacle and is embedded with the many true fruits, or achenes, which are popularly called seeds.

strawberryStrawberry plant (Fragaria species) in bloom. © Ekaterina Bykova/.com

The cultivated large-fruited strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) originated in Europe in the 18th century. Most countries developed their own varieties during the 19th century, and those are often specially suitable for the climate, day length, altitude, or type of production required in a particular region. Strawberries are produced commercially both for immediate consumption and for processing as frozen, canned, or preserved berries or as juice. Given the perishable nature of the berries and the unlikelihood of mechanical picking, the fruit is generally grown near centres of consumption or processing and where sufficient labour is available. The berries are hand picked directly into small baskets and crated for marketing or put into trays for processing. Early crops can be produced under glass or plastic covering. Strawberries are very perishable and require cool dry storage.

strawberryCartons of commercial strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa) in a farmer’s market.AdstockRFfumigant use in strawberry productionLearn about the dangers facing strawberry crops and the measures growers are taking to protect them.© American Chemical Society (A Britannica Publishing Partner)See all videos for this article

The strawberry succeeds in a surprisingly wide range of soils and situations and, compared with other horticultural crops, has a low fertilizer requirement. It is, however, susceptible to drought and requires moisture-retaining soil or irrigation by furrow or sprinkler. Additionally, the plants are susceptible to nematodes and pathogenic soil fungi, and many growers sterilize the soil with chemicals such as methyl bromide prior to planting. Runner plants are planted in early autumn if a crop is required the next year. If planted in winter or spring, the plants are deblossomed to avoid a weakening crop the first year. Plants are usually retained for one to four years. Runners may be removed from the spaced plants, or a certain number may be allowed to form a matted row alongside the original parent plants. In areas with severe winters, plants are put out in the spring and protected during the following winters by covering the rows with straw or other mulches.

strawberryGarden strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa) ripening.© KAMPANART PHATPHIROM/Fotolia Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today

Wild strawberries grow in a variety of habitats, ranging from open woodlands and meadows to sand dunes and beaches. The woodland, or alpine, strawberry (F. vesca) can be found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere and bears small intensely flavourful fruits. Common North American species include the Virginia wild strawberry (F. virginiana) and the beach, or coastal, strawberry (F. chiloensis). The musk, or hautbois, strawberry (F. moschata) is native to Europe and is cultivated commercially in some areas for its unique musky aroma and flavour.

Strawberries

History

The strawberry plant is a member of the Rosaceae family and the genus, Fragaria. Against the common belief that strawberry is a fruit, the fleshy red outgrowth is actually the receptacle of the strawberry flower. Therefore, it is also known as a “false fruit”. Historians believe that the strawberry plant was first found in ancient Rome in 234 B.C., and was commonly used for medicinal purposes. The Europeans first discovered strawberries in the year 1588, in America. The strawberry plants found native in North America, were superior to all European varieties in size, flavor, and beauty. Many new varieties were developed in the 1700s in North America. They were developed from the cross breeding of American and European varieties. California produces 80% of the strawberries that are consumed in North America.

Nutritional Value

Strawberries provide a rich source of vitamins and minerals. They contain a high content of Vitamin C, which has been known to be a deterrant to some forms of cancer. They also prevent oxidation of LDL or bad cholesterol. Strawberries are low in calories and very nutritious. One cup of sliced strawberries has 50 calories, 11.5 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, and 45 mg of potassium.

Storage

Do not wash until you are ready to eat. While it is better to eat as soon as possible, they can be stored in a tight container for up to 3 days. To freeze, gently wash, dry and remove caps. Freeze on a tray and then transfer to a bag. Take out the air and seal. They can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Summer is a time of fruits picked fresh in the garden or from farmer’s fields, hands stained with juice, and smiles of enjoyment. Hard to imagine, but you can enjoy the ancestors of our modern-day ruby red strawberries in our wild meadows, roadsides, woods and coastline. British Columbia has native strawberries throughout, just waiting for you to pluck them from the plant and enjoy a burst of sweet flavour. We have three tasty native species of wild strawberries (Fragaria species), which, by the way, you can also grow in your home garden. All three species, wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), coastal strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis), and wood strawberry (Fragaria vesca) have been involved in the ancestry of one or another variety of cultivated strawberry.

Like many wild and cultivated fruits, wild strawberries belong to the Rose Family (Rosaceae). They grow as perennial herbs and form loose green carpets speckled by clean white flowers. All three wild strawberry species arise from short thick rootstocks anchored to the ground by tough wiry roots. Horizontal runners, called stolons, arch from the parent plant and, where they touch down, a new daughter plant develops. Long purple-, red- or brown-tinted stalks bear three-parted leaves 5–20 centimetres (2–8 inches) above a fibrous crown.

Leaf form and texture are helpful in identifying native strawberries. Many teeth typically line the edge of strawberry leaflets. Wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) leaflets are often bluish green and the terminal tooth of each leaflet is usually shorter (smaller) than or equal to adjacent teeth. Wood strawberry (Fragaria vesca) has a terminal tooth that is larger and longer than adjacent teeth. Wood strawberry leaflets tend to be a bit softer and more yellowish than wild strawberry leaflets. Coastal strawberry leaflets are usually somewhat thicker than the previous species and may even be evergreen. The leaflets have exceptionally noticeable veins.

The white flowers of the species are relatively similar, about two to three centimetres (0.8–1.4 inches) across, perched atop a flexible hairy stem. The flower cluster in wild and coastal strawberry occurs beneath, or at, the level of the leaves. Wood strawberry raises its flowers above the leaves. Small leafy sepals and bracts form a ring at the base of each bloom. Within this cup are five (sometimes more) bright white rounded petals. At the base of the petals, a whorl of about 20 stamens encircles the raised swollen end of the stem, a structure technically called the receptacle. The swollen receptacle sports tiny yellow and green pistils, like pins protruding from a pincushion. As the fruit develops, the receptacle swells even more, presenting the seeds as little pips somewhat pressed into its surface. The mature receptacle is the delicious, though small (about 1.5 centimetres across), fruit sought by wild foragers.

You can find wild strawberries almost everywhere in our province except in Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands), though it is much more common in the interior than along the coast. It occurs throughout much of the US and the southern half of Canada too. Almost any open habitat, except bogs, supports wild strawberries, but the most favoured habitat has to be the open roadside, where clearing and scraping have created an ideal growing environment. Coastal strawberry, as its name reveals, grows along the entire BC coast. In North America you will find coastal strawberry hugging the coastline from Alaska to California. Interestingly this plant also occurs in Hawaii and along the west side of South America in Peru and Chile, hence the species name “chiloensis”. The natural habitat includes moist, stable sand dunes, meadows and crevices in rock knobs and cliffs. Wood strawberry inhabits open forests, clearings, fields and meadows up to the Subalpine zone. It is widespread in southern British Columbia eastward across North America, becoming rare northward. Wood strawberry occurs widely in Europe too.

All groups of First Peoples knew and enjoyed wild strawberries. Mostly people simply ate the fruits wild off the vine. This was especially a fun event for young children. Sometimes the fruits were mixed and dried with other berries. In some areas the leaves of wild strawberry were harvested and mixed with those of thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) and other plants and steeped into a sweet tea. Anti-diarrhea medicines for children are made from the leaves. Wild strawberries make excellent jam but getting enough berries is a challenge.

Coastal and wild strawberries are ancestors of our modern cultivated strawberry. Ironically, the garden strawberry has its roots in Europe from these two New World species. Wild strawberry found its way to Europe from Eastern North America after the initial waves of settlement. Coastal strawberry came to Europe from Chile in the early 1700s. Both began to be grown widely because of their superior flavour to European strawberries such as the wood strawberry. At some time in the 1700s, coastal and wild strawberries appear to have formed a natural hybrid in a European garden where both were being grown. The resulting fruit was much larger and the plants more productive than either of the parents, and it retained the excellent flavour of both parents. In no time this strawberry with foreign ancestors came to dominate production in Europe. Being so superior to the wild versions its cultivation spread round the world, returning to the Americas from which its parents had originated.

Even now, coastal strawberries continue to be used to improve commercial varieties. Wild selections and seed strains of wood strawberries have been grown in European gardens for centuries. Known as “fraise des bois” or alpine strawberries, their seeds are widely available from North American seed catalogues. Incidentally the scientific name Fragaria has its origins in the word “fraga”, the Latin name for strawberry.

Native strawberries are easily grown in the garden from offsets, or daughter plants, found at the end of the horizontal runners. Simply cut the runner between the mother plant and daughter plant, carefully remove the daughter plant from the soil and replant with the root crown at the same level as it was when you removed it. The best time to establish the plants is during the moist season from fall to early spring. For best results, plant in a loose soil rich in organic matter or humus. To develop a continuous strawberry carpet, mulch well, and keep the weeds pulled. On the coast, coastal strawberry makes an ideal ground cover for sunny, but not sun-baked, sites. Unlike the other species, it spreads slowly and forms a dense near continuous carpet. You might want to combine the berries with native bulbs such as nodding onion (Allium cernuum) which can poke and flower through the carpet. For the first year or two, cultivate the soil around your starter plants so that the runners will root readily. Sow seeds in the fall over a sand-humus mixture as an alternate method of propagation. Some wild forms seem to have larger flowers than the norm and deserve special attention.

Image used by permission of Nancy Turner.

Wild strawberries can hardly be beat as delicious fruit. Combined with the ability for vigorous growth on sunny, sandy disturbed sites, they are an ideal edible ground cover substitute for lawns. And when you eat those giant cultivated fruits, recall that their delicious wild ancestors still thrive on our roadsides and in our woodlands and coastal meadows today.

Are you looking for where to buy pineberries in California ? If yes, you are in the right place. In this post, we will show you where to buy pineberry seeds as well as where to buy pineberries in los angeles.

Pineberry is a white strawberry cultivar with a pineapple-like flavor, white coloring, and red seeds. You will see where to buy fresh pineberries here.

Pineberries come from breeding strawberry stocks from Chile and Virginia. The first commercial cultivation occurred in 2010 in the Netherlands and Belgium.

A pineberry is smaller than a common strawberry, measuring between 15 to 23 mm (0.6 to 0.9 in). When ripe, it is almost completely white, but with red “seeds” (achenes). The plant is disease resistant, but is highly priced, although not very profitable due to small-scale farming, small berry size and low yield. Pineberries are available in the spring and summer.

Pineberry was first sold commercially in the United States in 2012. Pineberry has been marketed to restaurants, bakeries and wholesale markets in Europe and Dubai. The berry was dubbed “pineberry” for the UK market where it became available in 2010 to reflect its “pineapple” flavor while appearing to be a strawberry.

Where Can You Buy Pineberry Plants?

At present, you can’t purchase the commercial pineberry plants to grow in your garden directly from VitalBerry. However, you can buy the Natural Albino variety from their authorized plant supplier, Beekers Berries, through their Berries @ Home storefront. For other suppliers in the United States and Europe, visit the links below…

Pineberry Plants for Sale – USA

Plants producing the most famous and prototypical pineberry (the white strawberry with red seeds), are available for sale here in the USA. At present, sales are offered seasonally. If they aren’t available or the links aren’t active below, check back in a month or two. Additionally, the plants tend to sell out quickly.

Where to buy Pineberries in California, USA

Here is the list of suppliers from whom you can buy pineberries in the USA:

Pineberry Plants for Sale – UK / Europe

For Europeans, it will likely be easier to buy pineberry plants directly from a European country. For EU or UK pineberry plants, you can purchase them by from any of the suppliers in the following list.

Here is the list of suppliers from whom you can buy pineberries in the UK / EU:

1. Suttons Seeds
2. Lead the Good Life
3. Crocus
4. J. Parker’s
5. MowItSowItGrowIt
6. Berries @ Home
7. YouGarden
8. Telegraph Garden Shop
9. Gardencentre Koeman
10. plantes-et-jardins.com offers Fraisier Anablanca (which listed as Fragaria vesca but appears similar to either the White D or White Carolina varieties mentioned above) and Fraisier Ananas (which may be like the typical pineberry, White Pine) for sale online.

While not having the exotic pineapple strawberry taste of the pineberries, there are a actually quite a few varieties of white strawberries available. You can buy varieties many white strawberry producing plants from suppliers listed in our directory of Strawberry Plants for Sale. Also, non-pineberry white-strawberry-producing plant seeds can be purchased from several suppliers through the directory link in the next section. (or, click here to shop and Buy Strawberry Plants by variety)

Where Can You Buy Pineberry Seeds?

Presently, I know of no suppliers who offer pineberry seeds for sale. Pineberry plants for sale can be found at the links above, however, and the pineberry seeds can be saved from the fruits you harvest. However, since the pineberry is a hybrid strawberry, it is very unlikely that plants directly resembling the parent plants will be grown from saved seed. So, if you really want a typical pineberry experience, buy one of the plants, not seeds. For seeds of other hybrid and non-hybrid varieties of strawberries, visit our directory of suppliers who do sell Strawberry Seeds. For more information on pineberry seeds, see Pineberry Seeds for Sale.

As a cautionary note, purple pineberry seeds will not grow any sort of strawberry plant. ‘Purple Pineberry’ is a specific cultivar of marijuana. So, ordering and growing purple pineberry seeds off the internet may gain you unwanted attention.

Next: Where to buy Soursop in California

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Pineberry (White Strawberry) Is Real, Where To Buy Them?

When it comes to unbelievable natural foods you hear about online, at least 90% of them are fake.

Before you even bother to investigate one, here are some patterns to look for which are telltale signs:

  1. Fruits – not vegetables – are used for most of the scams.
  2. Many hoaxes will say the strange fruit is from Japan, such as the moonmelon of years past.
  3. Flavors are different than they should be.
  4. Crazy colors are used.

Are pineberries real? Just one of these white colored strawberries costs a reported 1080 Yen ($10) in Japan. They’re said to taste like pineapples. Most surprising, all of these claims are true. Yes, the pineberry really does exist! It’s not fake and some research suggests they may centuries-old.

The largest variety is called “Scent of First Love” (Hatsukoi No Kaori) and it was created by Miyoshi Agritech Co. You won’t find them for sale at grocery stores. They’re only sold at high-end department stores in Japan.

There is also “White Jewel” (Shiroi Houseki) which is about twice the size of these.

Is it genetically modified? Nope. Believe it or not, the plants which produce these were created over a period of nearly 20 years using conventional cultivation methods. (1)

Miyoshi considers their process proprietary and in turn, hasn’t published much detail on it.

It has been theorized – but not proven – that they crossed the common red with white Alpine strawberries (Fregaria vesca). Those are known species of tiny cream colored berries. The plants only grow around 8 to 10 inches tall. Given their small size, it would make sense why many generations of selective breeding over two decades would be needed to create those gigantic juicy berries the Japanese are selling.

From the Fregaria vesca species, the “Alpine Yellow” and “White Soul” seeds with photos are on Amazon. These perennials are hardy in growing zones 3 to 10. If you try planting them, let us know how it goes.

Separate from what Miyoshi Agritech created is another pineberry strain with roots in Europe. Selective breeding of the Virginia strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) and a South American species known as Beach and Chilean (Fragaria chiloensis) were used. This was accomplished by Beekers Berries, a Netherlands-based farm.

The “Scent of First Love” and “White Jewel” are only sold in Japan and the Middle East, but this smaller version from Beekers can be found throughout many parts of the world, including the United States. It’s the most common type.

What does pineberry taste like?

Many assume they are just green strawberries which haven’t ripened yet, but that’s not the case. Those are yellowish-green in color and have green seeds. An authentic strawberry white variety has red seeds.

Owner Wil Beekers says not 100% of people think it has a pineapple flavor “but at least 50%” will say it does. Some describe them as having the sour taste of strawberry-flavored Jolly Rancher candy. They are good to eat, but anyone claiming they taste just like pineapple is stretching the truth.

Flavor aside, the other reason these white fruits were given this name is because their green stem resembles that of a pineapple.

When a pineberry is cut in half, it’s 100% white inside. Not something that looks sweet, but it definitely is.

Beekers trademarked the name Natural Albino® for selling them and it’s true – these white strawberries are non-GMO.

In fact, they may have been around for centuries.

Its 200 year-old history

Beeker’s in-house breeding expert, Hans de Jong, believe he recreated an original variety from South America.

Centuries ago, the South American strawberry produced some white fruit with albino mutations.

The species we consider today to be a normal garden strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) is actually a crossbreed of the one from South America (Fragaria chiloensis) and the Virginia (Fragaria virginiana) from North America. During the 1800’s while in transit to Europe or shortly thereafter, these two spontaneously crossed to create the red juicy variety you buy today sold by Driscoll’s and others. (2)

What Hans de Jong did was botanically “reverse engineer” the history of the white strawberry back to its origin some 200 years ago. He brought back that spontaneous crossing that was almost lost. Or at least, that’s what all his research has pointed to.

The first seed he used really was old and produced a white crop. It was obtained from a French heirloom seed collector, but when it grew it was “small and sickly” (3). It took time for him to breed it to become the healthy plant that’s for sale today under the name Natural Albino.

You will never see an entire garden of these pale colored fruits. Since the albino producing plants are all female, they’re not self-pollinating. They always require cross-pollination from their red counterparts. This means every other row of the plant needs to be a normal variety.

An even more recent newcomer on the market is the Hula Berry®. That’s a trademarked name that California-based Pacific Plug & Liner Co. uses to sell their plants. Where they come from is not clear. They look identical to Beeker’s version and might actually be the same thing, but just sold under a different name for gardening here in the US.

Health benefits

Photo by Cristian Nitti , via Wikimedia Commons

These are 100% non-GMO and can be grown organic.

Can you be allergic to strawberries? Yes, but the chances of that are slim. Based on a survey among 40 primary care pediatricians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 95% reported treating at least one child with this allergy. At age two, the prevalence is as high as 3 to 4% but by late childhood, it drops off to 0.5% to 1%. That rate – or lower – is believed to be the percentage of adults with a strawberry allergy. (4).

The PR10 family of proteins in the plant is what causes the allergy, especially the Fra a1. Since pineberry plants lack this protein, they are unable to ripen normally and create the red pigments known as anthocyanin.

One benefit is that since they don’t have the Fra a1 protein, they might be suitable for people who have an allergy to the traditional version. Though consult your doctor before trying. (5)

While that missing protein may benefit 1% of people, it’s a drawback for the other 99% of us.

That’s because much of the antioxidant content in this fruit come from the anthocyanin.

Some websites allege the white are healthier than red strawberries, calling them “an antioxidant bomb” and alleging they “keep your energy levels high” while “strengthening your immune system.”

None of those claims are based on research. There is not a single entry in the PubMed database about this albino berry and detailed nutrition facts haven’t even been published for it.

Even without the anthocyanin, they still contain respectable amounts of vitamin C and are good for you. However you can’t claim they’re healthier for you than the red.

Even though they may be less nutritious, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in your diet.

Their best use is for social gatherings where you really want to have that wow factor in the food you serve.

They look fake, like you’re playing a hoax. Imagine the conversations that will arise when your strawberry shortcake or even your basic fruit salad is chocked full of these white beauties! Most people will be seeing and tasting them for the very first time. That should leave quite the impression.

Where can I buy pineberries?

Beekers is based in Holland and they can’t ship these because their shelf-life is so short. That means they must be grown locally, close to wherever they are sold. The fresh are expensive, but they’re worth it for entertaining.

Their growing season is short – merely 5 weeks – so if you encounter them at a store, make sure you don’t pass the chance up to taste them. In the UK, the supermarket chain Waitrose sells them for £3.99 when in-season. In the US, they made their first appearance at Dean & DeLuca in New York City several years ago at a cost of $5.99 for a half-pint. Frieda’s is a specialty produce supplier out of Orange County, California which has been known to sell them to Southern California grocers on occasion, but we have never seen them stocked in the Los Angeles area at any store.

Given that most people assume they’re GMO, they’re probably a tough sell to make if you’re trying to capture a customer who randomly encounters them in the produce aisle. That, along with being more perishable, is probably the reason they haven’t caught on yet.

At least one major beauty product – Proctor & Gamble’s Olay – has incorporated the smell into their body wash. Their marketing says there are “aromas of white strawberry & mint leave” but it’s not clear if the real thing is inside. We have never seen this at a CVS, Target or Walmart, but you can get it on Amazon and based on the reviews, it sounds like people really like it.

The only sure way to get your hands on a fresh pineberry is to grow the plants yourself. You can get PP&L’s Hula Berry brand online. Without using a brand name, Brighter Blooms has the live plants for sale.

Make sure you get a red variety (any will work) to grow in a pot alongside them for pollination purposes. Once the flowers bloom, make sure they’re outside so the bees can do their thing.

IF YOU JUST WANT TO PURCHASE YOUR OWN PLANTS, . If you’d like to learn more of the pineberry’s history and other details, just keep reading…

What is a Pineberry?

The word “pineberry” is a fusion of the words “pineapple” and “strawberry” and refers to a relatively new pale pink or pale orange to white strawberry cultivar that is adorned with red achenes (see the Strawberry Seeds page for more information). Like the modern Garden Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa), the pineberry is a hybrid of the wild South American strawberry Fragaria chiloensis, which grows wild in some parts of Chile, and the North American strawberry Fragaria virginiana. The pineberry fruit is the result of cross-breeding, not genetic engineering as has been claimed by some. There are actually multiple different types of white strawberries (and new purple strawberries have been developed as well).

In fact, the specific strawberry variety whose genetics contribute to the striking appearance of the pineberry was “rescued” by a group of Dutch farmers. They discovered the source material in France. They did not find and rescue the pineberry from extinction in the wilds of Chile, as some have claimed. After six years of plant selection and cultivation, the plant vigor and quality of the pineberry plants was improved, and the decision to begin growing them for commercial production was made.

The fruit produced by pineberry plants is very aromatic and has flavor that most say is reminiscent of pineapple while retaining the texture and feel of a strawberry. The pineberry, or pineapple strawberry, is more of a novelty at present. They are produced on a very small scale in Europe and Belize and are not very profitable due to the small size of the pineberries (large pineberries are less than an inch big) and the low yield of pineberry plants (see the videos below to better gauge the size of the berries).

Are Pineberries Real?

Yes, pineberries are real. The primary commercial cultivar is owned by strawberry breeder Hans de Jongh and the pineberries are sold by VitalBerry BV in the city of Made, Netherlands. Their supplier is Holland’s Beekers Berries who grows them in very large, commercial glasshouses. While the fruits are generally referred to as “pineberries,” the German word meaning pineapple strawberry, “ananaserdbeere,” is occasionally used to reference them as well.

Questions over the existence of pineberries arose after two events cast doubts on their reality. The UK grocery store chain Waitrose was the only supplier of pineberries to the UK market. In the year Waitrose was to initially offer pineberries on a limited basis, they announced the new fruit offering just prior to April 1. Since the store chain had previously run “April Fools” ads for an obviously made up “pinana” (a pineapple banana), many assumed that the pineberry was a similar joke. Additionally, a search engine optimization company adopted Pineberry as its name just prior to the Waitrose announcement. The pineberry products showed on the SEO company’s sites were clearly not real products. These two concurrent happenings led to much skepticism and doubts about the existence of such pineapple strawberries.

Pineberry Information

Commercial pineberries are only available for a period of about five weeks. If demand increases, production will likely rise to meet the demand. However, they have been sold in the UK in forty-five Waitrose stores in the past. They generally sold for £2.99 to £3.99 (approximately $4.50 to $6.00) for a 125 gram bag (4.4 oz).

In 2012, pineberries were imported into the United States for commercial sale for the first time. They were available in New York from early May until mid-June. They were available in New York at Dean & DeLuca, Eataly, and Agata & Valentina. They were available for $5.99 per half-pint until after the middle of May, at which time the price increased to $7.99 for the same quantity.

While likely not identical to the pineberry, some Chileans claim that their native strawberry plant is the same as the pineberry. In Chile, this fragrant fruit is referred to as Frutilla Chilena.

While the official promotional materials laud the pineberry as a heavenly taste experience, some food critics aren’t as high on the newly commercialized designer fruit. It’s flavor has been referred to as watery, nippy, and tasting like an unripe strawberry. However, like most things, taste preferences are highly subjective, and there are equally numerous positive taste experiences on record. So, judge for yourself. The pineberries themselves are not widely available commercially in the U.S.A. yet, but they will likely be sold again in the United Kingdom next year. You can, however, buy your own pineberry plants by using the links below.

Varieties of Pineberries

Pineberries have been researched and developed an infinitesimally small amount compared to the common Garden Strawberry. Consequently, while there are hundreds of unique and productive varieties of your typical strawberry, the pineberry varieties available today are very few in number. The variety cultivated by VitalBerry BV cannot, at present, be purchased as strawberry plants, plugs, or crowns for home growing outside of the Netherlands. However, Beekers Berries’ Berries @ Home is scheduled to begin offering pineberry plants in the United States and Canada in early 2014. More information will be published nearer the time, along with detailed introduction dates and sales channels. The pineberry varieties that are available are the ‘White Pine’, ‘White Carolina’, ‘White D’, and ‘Natural Albino’ cultivars.

The White Pine pineberries are vigorous and will send forth numerous runners. The characteristic red-seeded white strawberries are mild and have the pineapple strawberry taste for which pineberries are becoming well-known. To maintain the pale white appearance of the fleshy accessory tissue of the pineberries, it is a good idea to grow them in a glass house or other growing system. The taste won’t be noticeably different, but full sun will cause a bluish-pink hue to tinge the fruits.

A less stereotypical pineberry variety is White Carolina. The pineberries exposed to direct sun will usually have a more evident pink flush than the others. Additionally, this variety is very susceptible to leaf scorch and will likely require fungicides to control it. Organic fungicides may or may not be sufficient to keep it in check. This variety will likely be replaced if and when pineberry research develops more hardy cultivars.

White D pineberries were developed in Sweden and have a bright future. There is the possibility that the genetic traits that dictate strawberry production have endowed this variety with everbearing properties. Should that prove true as testing continues over the next few years, this variety would likely become the most preferred one, at least until superior cultivars are developed. Another positive factor in favor of this pineberry is its fruit size. While still considered small, its berries are generally larger than the pineberries of the other available varieties. The aroma of this variety of pineberry is exceptional and the pineapple flavor is mild.

The newest pineberry variety that has reached commercial availability is Natural Albino, a variety patented by and sold by Nourse Farms. The berries still carry the distinctive aroma and pineapple-y taste that is sought after, however, the fruit is quite small: only about the size of a dime or a nickle. Additionally, this variety requires cross-pollination with a compatible strawberry pollinator in order to set any fruit. Nourse Farms sells the Sonata variety along with the Natural Albino plants in a 1:4 ratio.

Growing Pineberries

How do you grow pineberries? Pineberry plants are grown just like regular strawberries are grown, with one distinct difference. In order to produce the largest possible crop of the distinct white fruits, it is necessary to have a pollinator strawberry in close proximity. For every four plants, it is best to have one regular strawberry plant for pollination purposes. The early results indicate that the Sonata variety is the best pollinator for pineberries in general, and specifically the Natural Albino variety. For more applicable help, go here: growing pineberries, strawberries.

Where Can You Buy Pineberry Plants?

At present, you can’t purchase the commercial pineberry plants to grow in your garden directly from VitalBerry. However, you can buy the Natural Albino variety from their authorized plant supplier, Beekers Berries, through their Berries @ Home storefront. For other suppliers in the United States and Europe, visit the links below…

Plants producing the most famous and prototypical pineberry (the white strawberry with red seeds), are available for sale here in the USA. At present, sales are offered seasonally. If they aren’t available or the links aren’t active below, check back in a month or two. Additionally, the plants tend to sell out quickly.

Disclosure: This article includes affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Here is the list of suppliers from whom you can buy pineberries in the USA:

For Europeans, it will likely be easier to buy pineberry plants directly from a European country. For EU or UK pineberry plants, you can purchase them by from any of the suppliers in the following list.

Here is the list of suppliers from whom you can buy pineberries in the UK / EU:

1. Suttons Seeds
2. Lead the Good Life
3. Crocus
4. J. Parker’s
5. MowItSowItGrowIt
6. Berries @ Home
7. YouGarden
8. Telegraph Garden Shop
9. Gardencentre Koeman
10. plantes-et-jardins.com offers Fraisier Anablanca (which listed as Fragaria vesca but appears similar to either the White D or White Carolina varieties mentioned above) and Fraisier Ananas (which may be like the typical pineberry, White Pine) for sale online.

While not having the exotic pineapple strawberry taste of the pineberries, there are a actually quite a few varieties of white strawberries available. You can buy varieties many white strawberry producing plants from suppliers listed in our directory of Strawberry Plants for Sale. Also, non-pineberry white-strawberry-producing plant seeds can be purchased from several suppliers through the directory link in the next section. (or, click here to shop and Buy Strawberry Plants by variety)

Presently, I know of no suppliers who offer pineberry seeds for sale. Pineberry plants for sale can be found at the links above, however, and the pineberry seeds can be saved from the fruits you harvest. However, since the pineberry is a hybrid strawberry, it is very unlikely that plants directly resembling the parent plants will be grown from saved seed. So, if you really want a typical pineberry experience, buy one of the plants, not seeds. For seeds of other hybrid and non-hybrid varieties of strawberries, visit our directory of suppliers who do sell Strawberry Seeds. For more information on pineberry seeds, see Pineberry Seeds for Sale.

As a cautionary note, purple pineberry seeds will not grow any sort of strawberry plant. ‘Purple Pineberry’ is a specific cultivar of marijuana. So, ordering and growing purple pineberry seeds off the internet may gain you unwanted attention.

Pineberries: Conclusion

The pineberries available today are quite soft when ripe and do not hold up well to shipping. In fact, the inability to keep them in a “fresh” state from the growing location to the store is the primary reason you likely can’t find them on shelves near where you live. Home gardens are, therefore, likely the best place to grow them. Often, the care and nutrients received outside a commercial setting produce better fruits, as studies on growing organic strawberries are showing.

At present, the varieties of pineberries that are available do not produce high enough yields or big enough berries to gain widespread acceptance and heavily penetrate the commercial markets like the pineberry’s red-fleshed relative has. However, as they have now been re-introduced, new varieties will likely be bred. If the characteristic flavor is maintained while the size, yield, and firmness increase, those pale pineberries could have a bright future.

For a video that shows the shape and size of pineberries, as well as the relative quantity you can expect from healthy plants, watch this video:

More:

Pineberry & pineberries, hooray!

White Strawberry Plants: Tips For Growing White Strawberries

There’s a new berry in town. Okay, it’s not really new but it certainly may be unfamiliar to many of us. We’re talking the white strawberry plants. Yes, I said white. Most of us think of luscious, juicy red strawberries, but these berries are white. Now that I’ve piqued your interest, let’s learn about growing white strawberries and what types of white strawberries are available.

Types of White Strawberries

Probably one of the more commonly grown, the white alpine strawberry is one of several varieties of white strawberries. Before we get into that, let’s get a little background on white strawberries in general.

While there are several varieties of white strawberry, they are hybrids and don’t grow true from seed. There are two strawberry species, Alpine (Fragaria vesca) and Beach (Fragaria chiloensis), that are true white strawberries. F. vesca is native to Europe and F. chiloensis is a wild species native to Chile. So why are they white if they are strawberries?

Red strawberries begin as small white flowers that turn into pea-sized green berries. As they grow, they first turn white and then, as they mature, begin to take on a pink and finally a red color when completely ripe. The red in the berries is a protein called Fra a1. White strawberries are simply lacking in this protein, but for all intents and purposes retain the essential look of a strawberry, including the flavor and the aroma, and can be used in much the same ways as their red counterpart.

Many people have allergies to red strawberries, but what about a white strawberry allergy. Because white strawberries lack the protein that results in pigment and which is responsible for strawberry allergies, it is likely that a person with such allergies can eat white strawberries. That said, anyone with an allergy to strawberries should err on the side of caution and test this theory out under medical supervision.

White Strawberry Varieties

Both alpine and beach strawberries are wild species. Among the white alpine strawberry (member of the species Fragaria vesca) varieties, you’ll find:

  • Albicarpa
  • Krem
  • Pineapple Crush
  • White Delight
  • White Giant
  • White Solemacher
  • White Soul

White beach strawberries (member of the species Fragaria chiloensis) are also referred to as coastal strawberries, wild Chilean strawberries, and South American strawberries. Beach strawberries were cross bred to result in today’s familiar red strawberry varieties.

Hybrids of the white strawberry include the white pineberries (Fragaria x ananassa). If these ripen in the sun, however, they turn a pinkish hue; therefore, anyone with strawberry allergies should not consume them! The flavor of these berries is a unique blend of pineapple and strawberry. Pineberries originate in South America and were brought to France. They are now enjoying resurgence in popularity and popping up all over, but with limited availability in the United States. Another Fragaria x ananassa hybrid, Keoki is similar to pineberry but without the pineapple note.

The hybrid varieties tend to be sweeter than the true species but all the white strawberry varieties have similar notes of pineapple, green leaves, caramel and grapes.

White Strawberry Growing

White strawberries are easy perennial plants to grow either in the garden or in containers. You should plant them in an area that is sheltered from potential late spring frosts and in an area of about 6 hours of sunlight. Plants can be started indoors as seed or purchased as transplants. Transplant in the spring or fall when the minimum outdoor soil temperature is 60 degrees F. (15 C.).

All strawberries are heavy feeders, especially of phosphorus and potassium. They enjoy well-drained, loamy soil and should be fertilized as necessary. Plant the transplants until the root is completely covered with soil and the crown is just above the soil line. Water them in well and continue to maintain a consistent source of irrigation, about 1 inch a week and ideally with a drip irrigation system to keep the water off the leaves and fruit, which can foster fungus and disease.

White strawberries can be grown in USDA zones 4-10 and will attain a height of between 6-8 inches tall by 10-12 inches across. Happy white strawberry growing!

In 2017, we began a new exploration of white wild Alpine strawberries varieties in KRATKY (passive hydroponic) that were not common commercially and too fragile to ship, thus we had to grow them from seeds. Some of their taste profiles were described as intensely aromatic, mostly sweet with a different variants of interesting flavors, such as pineapple, cotton candy, rose syrup or caramel.

As we explored more widely and tasted the fruits of our labor, we discovered not every white (or yellow) strawberry carried this special taste.

Now we understood why some growers classified the special ones as “gourmet” and others as “common”. Seeds prices were higher and sources to buy were more limited with the gourmet range.

Strawberries without soil

True white strawberries belonged to 2 groups only.

  1. Alpine (Fragaria Vesca, originated in Europe)
  2. Beach (Fragaria Chiloensis, originated in Chile, also known as South American or coastal strawberries)

Both the alpine and beach strawberries are wild species.

White strawberries are white because they lacked the protein FRA a1 which made red strawberries red. People who are allergic to red strawberries have no problems eating white strawberries because of the absence of this protein.

An example of white strawberries sold in ISETAN (Japanese shopping store) on January 8, 2016. It is not far fetched to sell fifteen pieces of gourmet white strawberries for Singapore $200, about USD $150.

Photo : Joyce Ho

After growing our own wild white strawberries since 2016, we now know that these supermarkets’ strawberries are likely hybrid. Heirloom wild strawberries are typically small and soft flesh. Once harvested, they are unlikely to last a day. What they lacked in size, these varieties more than compensate with their aromatic intense flavor and unique taste.

A sought after and commercial popular white hybrid variety is Pineberry (white flesh, red seeds), a cross between Fragaria and Ananassa varieties. This cannot be grown from seeds, as Pineberry is a cultivated hybrid, thus please do not buy pineberry seeds online.

List of some Wild Alpine White varieties –

  1. Krem
  2. Pineapple Crush
  3. White Delight
  4. White Giant
  5. White Solemacher
  6. White Soul

We started our exploration in 2015 with WHITE SOUL variety in soil and then late 2017 liquid base.

With the experience gained from Pineapple Strawberries (yellow varieties) in 2016 and 2017, we had more confidence to try more white strawberry varieties. On January 20, we sowed four new types and they germinated on January 26 after 6 days, using a new germination method.

One of these new varieties belonged to the gourmet category with a taste profile of caramel and pineapple. These seeds are no longer on sale.

January 27 2018 – tiny sprout spotted!

See how tiny they were when they began this journey in Singapore!

So Tiny

White strawberries varieties are considerably smaller and slower to grow than the common red varieties.

2018 April 27 – 80 days old

And like children, they grew up!

2018 July 2

During months where there is insufficient sun, we began to use these full spectrum grow lights for our indoor gardens.

2020 January 2

White strawberries have the characteristics of red stems of normal red garden varieties. From germinating through growth stages here, we are breeding them in a natural SG environment.

2018 July 15

Our hope is to grow more varieties of white strawberries and built a portfolio of gourmet hydro plug-ins for household gardeners and high tech systems. Some of our seeds collected over the years are no longer available for sale internationally.

A Comparative journal from USA, with Regina Fok

To collect growth data on white strawberries from our seeds. Thank you, Regina!

Her seeds germinated in 9 days in an indoor environment of 23C. Similar to our white strawberries seedlings, her seedlings were small as well.

April 8 2016

May 21 2016 – 2 months old

White strawberries variety from SG Strawberries seeds

The size of first harvest fruits is the same as ones grown in tropical Singapore.

White strawberries are alpines

As there is not much information available on white strawberries in our tropical zone, we are hoping to record more data as we grow them in our blog. 🙂

THE UNEXPECTED CURVE BALLS (CHALLENGES)

White strawberries are by far, one of the most difficult to start from seeds. However, the more challenges they present, the deeper we learned how to grow them.

Whether in high tech systems, Kratky (liquid base) or soil, this knowledge is invaluable, especially for gourmet strawberries’ recovery SOP (Standard Operation Procedure) because plants and seeds are now scarce to our region.

With this variety, we experienced how every part of the plant can “break away” and how to save them when it happened. The following is a list of challenges for growing white strawberries plants out of their natural zone.

Leaves Wilting

Wilting Leaves

White strawberries are extremely delicate and fragile. Transplanting them need extra care. The leaves suffer rot easily, thus its a good idea not to get the leaves wet and stay wet. Surviving seedlings are slower to grow. They become hardy after the fourth month.

Roots Separation

The roots sometimes dropped off for no reason.

2018 August 02

With limited roots, a strawberry plant can still stand upright. They also recovered fast with the right remedy. Sign of successful recovery is first more roots mass and then new leaf growth from the crown (midsection of the plant).

2018 August 2 – Root-less

It is possible to regenerate new roots when this happened for hydroponic plants.

2018 August 28

Crown Separation

The strawberry top can break away from its crown. like this.

2019 February 28

In the past, when this happened, it would ring a death knell for this plant.

Separated from Crown

However, even with a tiny part of the roots remaining, it is possible to revive a strawberry plant.

Tiny root part

With recovery SOP, now we could recover these plants as long as they were healthy before the separation, that is not pests stressed, etc. In 7 days, new roots showed.

2019 March 05

Once on the mend, roots gained mass quickly. This was the progress between March 5 to the 14th.

2019 March 14

A clear signal from recovered plants is when new leaf showed at the crown and color returned to the stem.

Color + New Growth

This plant showed flowers in May 2019.

5 – 7 fruits on single brunch

Fruits of our labor

Uphill battles won! Finally, we harvested fruits from February 2018 plants!

We are always grateful for these small fruits after so many trials at every stage.

2018 Aug 01 – Caramel + Pineapple

2018 August 01 –

Seeds harvest

Do check in to our SHOP for seeds or net-cups! Seedlings had to be pre-ordered due to limited space.

Bulk Delivery of hydro plugs

With the compilation of 2 years of strawberries growth data in our tropical zone, we discovered new ways to grow them better. Future strawberries will be breed this way, with zero carbon footprint, yet tough enough to fruit in a natural environment. In addition, our hydro seedlings can be easily plugged in high tech systems or stand bare in Kratky.

White Strawberries Summary –

  1. Perennial plant
  2. Heavy feeder, need Phosphorous and Potassium like most strawberries
  3. Minimum 6 hours light, prefers shade over full sun
  4. Well-drained loamy soil
  5. Moderate watering preferred drip irrigation
  6. Temperature not above 29 degree Celsius
  7. More delicate seedlings than red varieties
  8. Fruits were slower to develop in a natural environment
  9. Suffered heat stress more often, not recommended outdoor
  10. Pineapple scent permeates the whole plant during the fruiting stage
  11. Mature plants are 6 – 8 inches tall, Width 10 – 12 inches across
  12. Suitable for USA zone 4 – 8 (For reference, Singapore is beyond Zone 13 )

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Pineberries are strawberries, but the name comes from their pineapple flavor. They have white flesh and red seeds, just the opposite of regular strawberries. Pineberries may be a novelty now, but they are actually just an improved version of the original South American strawberry, reintroduced into the market highlighting their pineapple flavor. To those who are wary of GMOs: neither the color nor the flavor comes from genetic modification. Fragaria chiloensis, the South American strawberries native to Chile, were always white with just a touch of the lightest pink.

Fragaria chiloensis strawberries were one of the original ancestors of the garden strawberries we are all familiar with. They were crossed with the red strawberry species Fragaria virginiana native to North America. That’s why garden strawberries are referred to as Fragaria x ananassa. The term ananassa probably refers to pineapple flavor of the original species; pineapple is called ananas in most parts of the world. There are other white strawberries in cultivation, but they are versions of the Alpine strawberry Fragaria vesca. Unlike the pineberries, their seeds are usually white to light green, so you can tell them apart. They are much smaller too.

Pineberries now come from the original Chilean strawberry stocks that still remained with some European breeders. The breeding program started about ten years ago, and it took them about four years to bring this variety into the market. When first introduced on April Fools’ Day, 2010, they were well received, although most people thought to be a hoax at first. However, despite the public interest in these new entrants, they still remain scarce.

If you want to have pineberries with any regularity, growing your own may be the answer. Planting material is available from select breeders by mail order, and a few nurseries may be stocking them. You can also purchase pineberry plants when available on Amazon. Stocks are often limited but at time of writing they are available from this page on Amazon with excellent reviews.

If you can get hold of some, it is worth growing, not only for the novelty value but for its distinctly different taste and flavor.

How To Grow Pineberries

If you have experience growing regular strawberries, pineberry cultivation can be just as easy. However, getting the starts may not be. Many breeders offer branded plants, but there are mainly three varieties to look for: ‘White D,’ ‘White Carolina’ and ‘White Pineberry.’ White D has larger berries compared to the other two, but they are still smaller than your standard red strawberries. They are all more like Alpine strawberries in their growth habits and have their everbearing nature too.

Pineberry starts are priced high, but you have no other option since they may not come true from seeds as many gardeners have found out to their disappointment. You can perhaps buy just 2 or 3 now, and increase your stock by division. Make sure the plants you order are self-pollinating. Cross pollination with regular strawberries will not change the color or flavor of pineberries, and may, in fact, increase fruit set.

The pineberry starts you get by mail may be quite small and fragile-looking. They are suitable for growing in USDA zones 4-8, but you may have some success in other zones if they are grown in containers and protected from extremes of temperature. Ease them out of the package with care. If you are starting with only a few plants, you may want to plant them in pots.

You can purchase 10 Pineberry White Carolina bare root plants from here on Amazon.

Growing Pineberries In Containers

Pineberries can be grown in any container that can hold a quart of soil. They have a small root system, so a 10”-12” pot that is 8” deep would do. Drainage is the most important consideration. Hanging containers and rain gutters can be used as long as you can provide good drainage. You should be able to check the soil moisture. Although sogginess can kill them, they need sufficient moisture in the soil at all times.

Use a good quality soil mix intended for strawberries to fill the containers. You can also make your own with:

  • 10 parts sterile potting soil
  • 10 parts peat moss
  • 8 parts perlite
  • 4 parts compost
  • 1 part sand

Combine them all very well to get a uniform mixture. Check the pH of the potting mix. Being woodland plants, pineberries prefer slightly acidic soil. A pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is ideal. Add suitable amendments to bring the pH within the above range.

Hanging containers can be closely planted, with 1 plant to every 6 inches. Keep them in a place that receives 6 hours of direct sunlight or 8-10 hours very bright indirect light. Water the plants before the soil dries out. Feed with a liquid fertilizer from May onwards to keep the plants in good health throughout the bearing season.

How To Make A Pineberry Patch

If you intend to have a patch of pineberries, prepare the bed as you normally would for garden strawberries. Choose an area that gets at least 6 hours sun, preferably in the morning. Yields may be higher in areas that get sunlight for 8 hours or more, but pineberries tend to take on a pinkish tint in high-light conditions. That doesn’t spoil their flavor, however.

Avoid beds where you have grown nightshade family plants such as peppers, tomatoes and potatoes before. The fungal spores of Fusarium and Verticillium that affect these plants can lay dormant in the soil for about four years and destroy your pineberry plants. Keep a safe distance from blackberry and raspberry bushes that could transfer common pathogens to your strawberries.

Bed preparation is extremely important for these perennials since they are going to be in the same spot for the next few years. Add some ammonium nitrate and a slow-release organic fertilizer to the soil while preparing the beds. Good drainage is also important. Amend the soil with plenty of organic matter and sand to improve drainage. If you have poor soil or waterlogging, consider growing them in raised beds rather than trying to amend the soil.

Pineberries need space to spread, but they don’t make as many runners as garden strawberries do. You can plant them closer, one plant every 12 inches.

  1. Double dig the bed and remove all weeds.
  2. Add some long-lasting organic manure.
  3. Make small holes in the bed 12 inches apart.
  4. Place the pineberry starts in the holes, making sure that their crowns are at soil level, not below.
  5. Fix them in place and tamp down the soil around them
  6. Water the plants well.

The starts are ideally set out in spring after the ground has warmed up a bit, but you should shelter them from potential late spring frosts. Spring-planted strawberries may start bearing only the next year. It may even take an extra year to reach maturity.

Fall planting can be considered if you can provide sufficient winter protection. In fact, many growers recommend this as the plants get to establish a good root system before top growth starts. A good amount of mulch should be used to keep the root zone warm.

Pineberries will grow without much trouble if they are kept happy with regular watering and feeding. Give them a liquid feed of high phosphorous, high potassium fertilizer every 3-4 weeks starting from mid-spring to promote flowering and fruit set. Weed the beds as and when required. Don’t allow them to smother the small plants. Check for pests and diseases and take timely actions.

When the flowers start appearing, mulch around the plants to prevent the developing fruit from touching the ground. Pick the berries as they mature; this helps increase production. Since pineberries are everbearers like Alpine strawberries, you may have a long harvest season from late spring to fall.

Cut down on water towards late fall and stop fertilizing. This will toughen up the plants for overwintering. Mulch thickly around the plants but keep them only lightly covered to avoid crown rot.

Ready To Get Started?

Buy your Pineberry plants from this page on Amazon and get started. Alternatively, here are some more exciting fruits you can grow at home.

Why do strawberries have their seeds on the outside?

Credit: David Lenker

“Why do strawberries have their seeds on the outside, instead of on the inside?” That was the question one of my daughters asked recently. I had no idea, so I reached out to Chris Gunter, an associate professor of horticultural science at NC State. And the answer surprised me.

First off, strawberries don’t keep their seeds outside their fruit. Those things we think of as strawberry seeds aren’t seeds – and the big, red strawberry “fruit” isn’t technically a fruit.

In “true” fruits, like peaches, a flower is pollinated and then the flower’s ovary swells and becomes the fruit, with the seed or seeds in the middle.

Not so with strawberries.

When a strawberry flower is pollinated, the fruit doesn’t swell. The fertilized ovaries in the flower form separate, small, dry fruits. Those “seeds” on the outside of a strawberry are actually the fruits, each of which contains a single seed.

The ripe, red, fleshy part that we think of as the strawberry “fruit” is actually swollen receptacle tissue – the part of the plant that connected the flower to the stem. When a strawberry flower is pollinated, it triggers the receptacle tissue to grow and change.

But that still doesn’t answer the question, it just changes it a little. Why are the small, dry fruits located on the outside of the red, sweet thing that we all like to eat?

The short answer is that we don’t really know which evolutionary forces caused the strawberry to develop the way that it did.

However, Gunter notes, “there are a few fundamental reasons why plants have evolved different kinds of fruits. One reason is to attract something that spreads seeds.”

A good example is the avocado. Scientists believe the avocado, with its enormous wood-like seed, evolved to be eaten by enormous animals that lived thousands of years ago. One of these animals would chow down on some avocados and either leave partially-eaten fruit (and its seed) nearby, or the seed would pass all the way through the animal and be left behind in its waste. Since those giant beasts are no longer with us, avocados are now dependent on human intervention to spread their seeds.

“A second evolutionary approach is for plants to find ways for their fruit to disperse on their own,” Gunter says. “For example, they may fly in the wind, like a dandelion, or be moved by the water, like a coconut.”

The third option is for a plant to find ways for a fruit to deter animals from eating it. “For example, the gingko fruit smells putrid,” Gunter says. “The goal there is for the fruit to not get eaten, so that the seed can rely on the fruit’s nutrients to support its growth.”

Presumably, the strawberry went for evolutionary option number one – attract something to spread the seeds. But we don’t know the specifics.

Explore further

The ecological role of fruit aroma More information: *Note: The example for a true fruit was originally an apple. And then someone told me that apples are not true fruits either. In fact, they belong to a group called pseudo-carps, or false fruits. That’s because the part we think of as the fruit is made from plant parts other than the ovary. And – surprise – the fleshy part of an apple is also made of the receptacle tissue. In other words, it was just about the worst example I could have thought of to hold up as the alternative to a strawberry. But now I know that – and so do you! Provided by North Carolina State University Citation: Why do strawberries have their seeds on the outside? (2016, May 11) retrieved 1 February 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-strawberries-seeds.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

There’s nothing like spotting the first sweet ripe strawberries of the season at your local farmer’s market. This year, the warm weather is slow coming in some parts of the country, and that means the strawberries might be still green. But the color shouldn’t stop you from buying them: tart green strawberries are all the rage. Chefs are using immature strawberries both fresh and pickled, in everything from salads to cakes. If you prefer your berries red and juicy, you’re probably in the majority. However you like them, we’re betting your strawberry knowledge didn’t run this deep — until now:

  1. Strawberries are the only fruit that wear their seeds on the outside. The average berry is adorned with some 200 of them. No wonder it only takes one bite to get seeds stuck in your teeth.
  2. Strawberries aren’t true berries, like blueberries or even grapes. Technically, a berry has its seeds on the inside. And, to be über technical, each seed on a strawberry is considered by botanists to be its own separate fruit. Whoa, meta!
  3. Strawberries are members of the rose family. Should you come upon a bush of them growing, you’ll see: they smell as sweet as they taste.
  4. The strawberry plant is a perennial. This means if you plant one now, it will come back next year and the following and the year after that. It may not bear fruit immediately, but once it does, it will remain productive for about five years.
  5. Americans eat an average of three-and-a-half pounds of fresh strawberries each per year. It’s closer to five pounds if you count frozen ones. In a study, more than half of nine-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit. They’re nature’s candy!
  6. Belgium has a museum dedicated to strawberries. In the gift shop at Le Musée de la Fraise (The Strawberry Museum), you can buy everything from strawberry jam to strawberry beer.
  7. Native Americans ate strawberries long before European settlers arrived. As spring’s first fruit, they were a treat, eaten freshly picked or baked into cornbread.
  8. The ancient Romans thought strawberries had medicinal powers. They used them to treat everything from depression to fainting to fever, kidney stones, bad breath and sore throats.
  9. Sex & Strawberries? In France, where they’re believed to be an aphrodisiac, strawberries are served to newlyweds at traditional wedding breakfasts in the form of a creamy sweet soup.
  10. Strawberries are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They are low in calories and high in vitamins C, B6, K, fiber, folic acid, potassium and amino acids.
  11. Strawberries contain high levels of nitrate. This has been shown to increase blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. Research suggests that people who load up on strawberries before exercising have greater endurance and burn more calories.
  12. California produces some 80% of the strawberries in the U.S. They grow about 2 billion pounds of the heart-shaped fruits per year. Every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada grows their own.
  13. To store fresh strawberries, wash them and cut the stem away. However, if you plan to keep them in the fridge for a few days, wait until before you eat them to clean them. Rinsing them speeds up spoiling.
  14. Strawberries can also be pickled. Especially when picked green or unripe. If your berries are overripe, make jam!

Check out these strawberry stories on Food Republic:

  • Pineberries Are Not Albino Strawberries
  • Strawberries Are In Season! (In Florida)
  • Save The Endangered Marshall Strawberry! Also Makes A Great Holiday Gift.

I spend a lot of time on Youtube watching music videos, Tasty videos, and crash courses. One day, I came across a video titled

Cultivating Japan’s Rare White Strawberry. Upon seeing the title, I knew I had to watch it. I really love strawberries and seeing a white strawberry made me want to learn more about this variety. Japan is known for having many unique types of fruits: santonishiki cherries, dekopon (a type of orange) ume, and even square watermelons. While these fruits are unique, the one fruit that gets everyone talking is the infamous white strawberry. However, one question still remains: what exactly is a white strawberry?

What is a White Strawberry?

White strawberries are strawberries with a white color, red seeds, and pink patches. One of the most popular types of white strawberries is the White Jewel Strawberry, the first to come out on the market.

The difference between white strawberries and regular strawberries, besides their color, is that white strawberries are bred to be bigger, softer, and sweeter than their conventional counterparts. These strawberries, however, are not to be confused with pineberries, another type of strawberry that is white in color. About 50 different varieties of white strawberries are grown, each with a unique flavor.

History

White Jewel Strawberries were introduced nearly four years ago by Yasuhito Teshima in Japan’s Saga Prefecture. This prefecture is the only place known to grow this variety of strawberry. Teshima has been crossbreeding strawberries for numerous years to create a large strawberry that has white flesh and white skin. Although other white strawberries exist, Teshima claims that his are bigger and whiter than any other variety out there.

Growing Process

White Jewel Strawberries receive less sun exposure than regular strawberries. This limited sunlight means that the berries contain less anthocyanin, which gives strawberries their vibrant red color. Teshima, the leading white strawberry producer, says that only 10% of the strawberries grown turn out white. Years of breeding and a low yield rate make these strawberries more pricey than generic red strawberries. While these berries may be small, they take up a lot of space to grow, which also contributes to the high price.

Taste

The white color might make one think that the berries are tart or sour, but in fact, the opposite is true. They are sweeter than red strawberries. Some people say that a white strawberry tastes like a pineapple and melts into a sweet, candy-like aftertaste.

How Expensive Are White Strawberries?

Because of the labor-intensive growing process, white strawberries are far more expensive than red ones. One strawberry could be sold for $10 USD. To put this into perspective, a 16-ounce package of organic red strawberries costs about $6-$7. Some packages of white strawberries can cost up to $40. While they may sound expensive, these White Jewel strawberries are not the most expensive strawberry breed. The Kokota strawberries are the most expensive, clocking in at $22 per berry.

Where Are They Sold?

Unfortunately, white strawberries are not sold in supermarkets in the United States; they are mainly available in Japan. If you ever find yourself in Japan, you can get them at supermarkets or even pick them yourself on a strawberry farm. In addition, you can also grow white strawberries in your very own backyard if you’re blessed with a green thumb.

Recipe

White Strawberry Tart:

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on some white strawberries, try this tart. This tart is an amazing way to use the berries because it emphasizes not only their beautiful color, but their fresh taste.

The Bottom Line

If you love trying new fruits, white strawberries should be something to put on your bucket list . They might be on the expensive side, but they’re worth the splurge.

What do you think of when you hear the word “strawberry?” You think of springtime fun, the first harvest of the year, and, above all else, plump and juicy RED fruit with an exquisite taste, right? Strawberries are synonymous with the color red. However, what is not known by most is that there are numerous white strawberries as well. In fact, some entire species of Fragaria are white.

If you want to learn about the different types of white strawberries, grow them, or buy the plants quickly and easily, you will be able to do so quickly and easily with the information available on Strawberry Plants .org. This page is your gateway to everything related to the white strawberry and white strawberry varieties.

Why Are White Strawberries White?

To understand why white strawberries are white, it is best to understand why red strawberries are red. In the life cycle of strawberries, the flowers turn into small, pea-sized green strawberries. They grow as small green strawberries until they reach a certain size and maturity. They then turn white. As they continue to mature, strawberries which are red when fully ripe make use of proteins to turn from white to red.

One of the primary ripening proteins is called Fra a1. Strawberries containing this protein redden into the familiar appearance as they reach full ripeness signaling their readiness to be consumed. Most white strawberries are either deficient or completely lacking this protein. So, even when they are ripe, they remain white instead of turning red. Their strawberry genetics don’t allow them to become red. So, the reason white strawberries are white is simply because they lack the ability to turn red.

White Strawberry Allergy?

The protein related to ripening (Fra a1) is more completely known as Fragaria allergen A1. This protein is thought to be the one primarily responsible for strawberry allergies. Consequently, it may be possible for an individual with a strawberry allergy to consume white strawberries without negative side effects or allergic reactions. Of course, if you have such an allergy, only try eating a white strawberry under medical supervision.

Types of White Strawberries (White Strawberry Varieties)

There are multiple types of white strawberries. White strawberry varieties include white subspecies of Fragaria vesca (more commonly known as the Alpine Strawberry); Fragaria chiloensis (more commonly known as the Beach, Coastal, or South American Strawberry); the Pineberry; and few others. A brief overview of each of the major types of white strawberries follows:

White Alpine Strawberries

Alpine strawberries are wild strawberries of the species Fragaria vesca. White alpine strawberry varieties include: Albicarpa, Krem, Pineapple Crush, White Delight, White Giant, White Solemacher, and White Soul. Most of these varieties are available for sale. You can order them from supplying nurseries by clicking the links in the next section.

White Beach Strawberries

White beach strawberries are also known as coastal strawberries, wild strawberries, Chilean strawberries (Frutilla Chilena) and South American strawberries. All of these white strawberries are members of Fragaria chiloensis. This species of strawberry was instrumental in the cross-breeding that resulted in the large, red, plump strawberry varieties available today. To learn the history of the development of the modern-day strawberry, read it on the Strawberry Plant page. These can also be purchased at the links below in the next section.

White Pineberries

Pineberries are also a type of white strawberry. However, if they are ripened in the sun, they will often gain a pinkish hue. Because of this, those with strawberry allergies should not risk consuming them as they likely still contain at least some quantities of Fra a1. The pineberry is Fragaria x ananassa hybrid, just as is the typical red garden strawberry. However, the genetics passed down in the cross have resulted in a unique pineapple-strawberry flavor and white fruit. Use the links below to purchase these also.

Other White Strawberries

Another commercially available white strawberry variety is ‘Keoki’ which is a Fragaria x ananassa hybrid like the pineberry, but without the pineapple taste. Offered for sale by Lassen Canyon Nursery, it can also be purchased by clicking the links in the following section. Fragaria virginiana white strawberris are also available from Edible Landscaping Online. If you are aware of any other white strawberries for sale anywhere, let us know!

Buy White Strawberries

You can buy white strawberries by clicking the following links. Each will take you a table of all the known sellers of that particular variety on the Buy Strawberry Plants directory. All strawberry varieties, not just the white ones, are also available there.

Alpine varieties: Albicarpa, Krem, Pineapple Crush, White Delight, White Giant, White Solemacher, White Soul
Beach varieties: Island of Lernuy, Termas de Tolhuace, Others
Pineberry varieties: White Carolina, White D, White Pine
Other white varieties: Keoki, Fragaria virginiana (Christina), Snow White

Benefits of Growing White Strawberries

There are several benefits of white strawberries. First, the Alpine varieties have an exquisite taste and aroma. Also, there are unique strawberry flavor accents that can be experienced with the pineberry. Also, the true species (Fragaria vesca, Fragaria chiloensis) will grow true from seed since they are not hybrids. You will not, however, be able to grow true plants from either Keoki or Pineberry seeds since they are hybrids.

Another added benefit of the pale relatives of red strawberries is that our feathered friends don’t pay them as much attention. Birds can decimate a strawberry patch. As soon as they start turning red, they start turning birds’ heads too. Birds will often ignore white strawberries so that you get more fruit with less fight!

Drawbacks of the White Strawberry

Unfortunately, there are also drawbacks to growing white strawberries. They typically produce fewer and smaller strawberries. Especially compared to the most popular commercial varieties for sale today, white varieties of strawberries simply produce less. That is the most significant drawback for a gardener looking to maximize harvest from a given garden space.

Also, some critics claim that both the Beach Strawberry and the Pineberry have a less than stellar taste profile, with many berries tasting bland or watery. Don’t put too much stock in the critics if you are interested in trying to grow your own white strawberry plants, however. There are many more anecdotal reports of delicious harvests than displeasing ones.

White Strawberries: Conclusion

Why not take the plunge for your garden this year? Research the various types of white strawberries, map out some garden space, and take the plunge! Planing new fruits might just allow you to find a new favorite. Taking a chance on some of the varieties listed on this page will most likely turn out to be a good decision…a very good decision indeed!

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Pineberries start off green, gradually turning paler as they ripen.

When the fruit is sweet and juicy enough to eat, the flesh is almost totally white but studded with red seeds – the reverse of the usual variety.

Discovered wild in South America and rescued from extinction by Dutch farmers…they are smaller than most commercially grown strawberries, measuring between 15 and 23mm across – slightly less than an inch.

The pineberry combines the shape and texture of a strawberry with a flavor and smell closer to that of a pineapple.

If you have experience growing regular strawberries, pineberry cultivation can be just as easy. However, getting the starts may not be. Many breeders offer branded plants, but there are mainly three varieties to look for: ‘White D,’ ‘White Carolina’ and ‘White Pineberry.’ White D has larger berries compared to the other two, but they are still smaller than your standard red strawberries. They are all more like Alpine strawberries in their growth habits and have their everbearing nature too.

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