White Strawberries

white strawberriesWhat 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?

white strawberryTo 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

buy white strawberriesAlpine 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

white alpine strawberriesThere 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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17 comments to White Strawberries

  • Straw Berry

    Putri Salsa,
    Yes, as long as the plants are healthy, they can all be grown in the same general area. Do make sure that each of them has enough soil and nutrients to support healthy growth and fruit production. Good luck!

  • Hi, I am from Indonesia…
    I am interesting in cultivating Alpine strawberry.
    I have some varities of alpine strawberry in my small garden. There are mignonette, ruegen, and white (I dont know which one) strawberry.
    Do you think that it will be okay if I put them together in the same place? I mean, what will happen if there is across pollination?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Shawna,
    These white strawberries are not genetically modified.

  • Shawna

    These strawberries look awesome! Are they non GMO, though?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Todd,
    I am not aware of any other colors than the one you mentioned, save the purple variety. The blue and black ones I have seen advertised, to my knowledge, are photoshopped and marketed by retailers of dubious repute. If you come across any legitimate colors other than red, white, yellow, and purple, do let me know! They are not easily bred. Should you find some other color, it is likely genetically modified.

  • Todd

    I see you have white, yellow and of course red strawberries but are there more colors (varieties) to chose? Is there a blue strawberry? Are they easy to cross breed to get new colors?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Devon,
    You should write to Mike Wellik at thestrawberrystore.com. He should be able to answer those questions for you as he specializes in growing gourmet strawberry plants and seeds. Good luck!

  • Devon

    I run a seed library for the Seattle area, and we’ve recently received a donation of white soul strawberry seeds. (They’re a runnerless variety.) I grew some to try, and they’re FABULOUS! I want to make sure our library “borrowers” don’t unintentionally hybridize the seeds. Does anyone know where I can find information about how these plants are pollinated, isolation distances, etc?

  • Frank T.

    Thank you for the information. I have wild white strawberries growing in my yard(partially wooded) and have been mowing through them for years thinking they were just weeds! This year while walking around I noticed the berries and decided to taste one and wow are they fantastic. They taste is complex compared to reds and the delicious after taste lingers for quite a while. Their ability to grow from seed is very apparent as i now see them in both yards next door and in many spots in mine. Needless to say my lawn mower will be taking some detours from now on.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Britni,
    You may want to try the Pineberries linked above. They seem to be all the rage these days. The reason that they aren’t recommended by the extensions is that they typically produce fewer and smaller strawberries than do the red-fruited varieties. Good luck!

  • Britni

    I checked the varieties by state section and didn’t see any white ones listed for Iowa, do you have any recommendations? Can these be grown by established red strawberries or everbearing srawberry plants?
    Thanks.

  • Katrina

    Mr. Strawberry
    Thank you for the advice. I have a bedroom that gets full bright sun most of the day, so may try to find a way to set up a place to plant them there. I looked around for plants and the dominant alpine white for sale is the ‘white soul’ which claims to be pineapple-y…. I will research different types on your information page to find the one best suited for me. That list is huge though. It will take some time to just sort out all the white varieties. But it is worth it. How do I help the plant pollinate? I can do research on this as well, but if there is a simple answer, it would be nice to just get it directly. The reason this is so important to me is my 2 1/2 year old son is named Yuki Ichigo. Literally in Japanese ‘snow strawberry’. We did this on purpose, not knowing the was actually white strawberries out there, and I have been obsessing over growing my own since I found out about them. He loves sweet fruits, especially strawberries, so this would be very special to him as he grows up.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Katrina,
    If you’d like, you can learn all about the different types of strawberries on the Strawberry Varieties reference page. Most of the white strawberry varieties do NOT taste like pineapple. The primary prominent white variety that does is the Pineberry. None of the white alpine varieties will be pineapple-y! The biggest problems you will encounter inside is light and pollination. The plants need plenty of light, not too much space, and some help pollinating if you grow them indoors. Good luck!

  • Katrina

    I am unfamiliar with all the different types of strawberries. I want to try growing my own, and the white varieties fascinate me. Are there any varieties that taste more like strawberries than pineapple? Also, I live in an apartment and am not sure about space or temperature. would they work in a strawberry tower? In South Dakota? Sorry for the specificity, but I need to know if I should keep trying to do this or just give up.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Jacquelyn,
    Absolutely! See here for the Wisconsin recommendations: Recommended Strawberry Varieties by State.

  • Jacquelyn

    Are there any types of White Strawberries that can be grown in a climate like Michigan’s? (Freezing Winters, Flaming Summers)

  • Marlene Larkin

    Fantastic! I was told about white strawberries from a woman who was raised in Chile. she said white berries had much more flavor.

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