A strawberry is a short plant in the wild strawberry genus of the rose family. The name is also used for its very common sweet edible "fruit" and for flavors that taste like it. The real fruit of the plant are the tiny "seeds" around the "fruit", which is actually a sweet swelling of the plant's stem around the fruit. The plant grown today is a mix of two other species of wild strawberries and was first grown in the 1750s.
Fragaria × ananassa
|Strawberry fruit cross section|
F. × ananassa
|Fragaria × ananassa|
The Latin name of the strawberry used in science is Fragaria × ananassa. Fragaria is the name of the genus of "strawberry-like" plants. The × mark means that it is a hybrid, a mix of two other species. The Latin name ananassa says the hybrid is "pineapple-like". The strawberry is sometimes called the "garden strawberry" so that people don't mix it up with the other wild strawberries of the genus Fragaria.
The name is a bit misleading and is special to English. The other Germanic languages do not have a name like it. No one is really sure where the name came from. The plant is not a kind of straw, and its fruit is not really a berry.
People have eaten different kinds of wild strawberries for thousands of years. Today's bigger strawberry was first made around Brest in Brittany (northwest France) in the 1750s. It was made by joining the Virginia strawberry from eastern North America to the European Hautbois and the Chilean strawberry from western South America.
The real fruit of the strawberries are the achenes, which people usually think of as the little seeds around the outside of the larger red "fruit". What people think is the "fruit" is really the swollen stems between these fruit. This kind of fruit, where different ovaries grow into a single larger "fruit", is called an "aggregate fruit".
|Wikispecies has information on: Fragaria.|
- "strawberry, n.", Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1919.
- Welsh, Martin (2006), "Strawberries", Official website, Aylesford: National Vegetable Society.
- "Stem Modifications". Boundless Biology. Boundless. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
- "achenes". Inhs.uiuc.edu. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
- "Aggretage Fruits". Inhs.uiuc.edu. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
- "The Strawberry: A Multiple Fruit". Carnegiemuseums.org. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
- "Nutrition Facts for strawberries, raw, one NLEA serving, 152 g". Nutritiondata.com. Retrieved February 22, 2016.