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.

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Say Hello to Mr. Pineberry

say hello to mr pineberry

It's STRAWBERRY ORDERING TIME!  People all over are in full strawberry-buying mode.  Strawberries are the first crop to come in after a long, cold winter.  They are planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, and the following year they burst forth and produce a blessed harvest, often while the nights are still chilly.

This season, why not try something new?  Plan on incorporating the Pineberry into your gardening plans.  If you have even a square foot or two of extra space in your garden plot, consider planting a few pineberry plants.  Pineberries are hybrid strawberries just like the normal strawberries you buy at the store or grow from ordered plants.  The difference can be seen in the photo.

They get their name from their unique pineapple/strawberry taste: PINEapple + strawBERRY = PINEBERRY.

The downside is that they are hard to obtain.  You can buy them commercially at the beginning of April in the UK, but they aren't offered commercially in the United States.  BUT, you CAN grow them yourself, if you act soon.  There is only one supplier of pineberries that is known to us at present.  If you are interested in growing this novel strawberry, click the following link to learn more: Pineberry Pineberries.

Say Hello to Mr. Pineberry today!

How Many Strawberry Species Are There?

strawberry speciesIf you have ventured over to the Strawberry Varieties page and seen the extensive list of strawberry cultivars presented there, you may have thought to yourself, “Just how many strawberry species are there out there?”  Good question.  When it comes to identifying strawberries, strawberry plant taxonomy comes into play (for introductory information, view the Strawberry Plant page).  And, to identify strawberry plant species diversity these days, genetics plays a big role.

One important consideration to keep in mind is that there is a fairly big difference between species and cultivars.  Species have a degree of genetic variation that sets them apart from their counterparts while cultivars are identifiable plants expressing genetic diversity within a species (or hybridization).  So, how many strawberry species are there?

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Genetics of Strawberry Plants

genetics of strawberry plantsStrawberry plants have a very unique diversity when it comes to their genetic makeup.  The genetics of most things are relatively complex, but the genetics of strawberry plants throw an additional twist into the mix.  Strawberry plant species have varying numbers of chromosomes (see the Strawberry Plant page for introductory information).

Most species are diploid, meaning they have two sets of chromosomes, one set of chromosomes is normally inherited from each parent.  Polyploidy, a condition more common in plants, occurs when multiple pairs of chromosomes are present in the genetic component of an organism.  Strawberry species and hybrids can be diploid, tetraploid, pentaploid, hexaploid, heptaploid, octoploid, or decaploid (having 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 10 sets of the seven strawberry chromosomes, respectively).

Use the sortable table below to see a list of the polyploid genetics of strawberry plants.  The various major species of strawberries are listed, along with their genetic makeup and informational notes.  For more information, see the Strawberry Varieties page.

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Introducing the Pineberry

introducing the pineberryDuring the cold months of bitter chill and cabin fever of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, Green Thumbs everywhere begin to wistfully ponder the coming day when breaking ice gives way to breaking soil.  When it is too cold outside to do much gardening and the only growing things are the icicles on the neighborhood gutters, many anxious gardeners sit down and plan their gardens.  Which fruits and vegetables will be grown?  How much space to allot to the staples and how much to unique, new, or exotic varieties?  What will the layout be?  Should the garden be planted in rows or according to the principles of square foot gardening?

Just thinking about it gets a Green Thumb's sap flowing!

This year, consider sending out your runners in a new direction.  If you have even a square foot or two of extra space in your fertile soil, consider planting a few pineberry plants.  Pineberries are hybrid strawberries just like the normal strawberries you buy at the store or grow from ordered plants.  The difference can be seen in the photo above.  They are white strawberries with bright red seeds!  And, they get their name from their unique pineapple/strawberry taste: PINEapple + strawBERRY = PINEBERRY.

If you are interested in learning about or growing this unique strawberry variety in your garden this year, you might want to click the following link now…

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Southeastern Plasticulture Strawberries

southeastern plasticulture strawberriesThe biggest strawberry producer in the world is the state of California.  But, as dominantly productive as the strawberry growers in that state are, other regions of the United States are quite productive as well.  Florida is also known as a big-time strawberry state.  The standard method used in each of those two states is the typical commercial plasticulture method.

What many people do not know is that North Carolina, and particularly the coastal regions, also has a booming strawberry industry.  And, the methods used in that state are spreading to the surrounding regions.  In the mid-1980s, NC strawberry growers and NC State University partnered to develop a better way to grow strawberries in the state.  The work of this pairing led to slight adaptations of the California and Florida plasticulture practices which resulted in the Southeastern plasticulture method.  Southeastern Plasticulture strawberries can be lucrative venture.  This post is a brief introduction.

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Short-Day June-Bearing Strawberry Plants

short day june bearing strawberry plantsStrawberry plants are constantly being cross-bred and tweaked through dedicated breeding programs across the United States, in Canada, and other locals across the globe.  There are multiple reasons for this constant selective work on the various members of the genus Fragaria.  Strawberries are developed in order to maximize genetic potential so that certain goals are attained.  The most common goals are increased production of larger strawberries and increased plant hardiness and vigor for specific climate, region, or growing conditions.

This constant search for a better strawberry has led to multiple different types of strawberries and multiple different cultivars that each possess unique characteristics and production patterns.  Hundreds of different varieties have been developed over the years.  Some produce big berries, some medium, some small.  Some grow well in even the northernmost regions while others flourish in the south.  Some strawberry plants produce one big crop of strawberries while others produce multiple crops or constantly produce throughout the growing season.  (For a detailed discussion of the various types of strawberry plants, see the Strawberry Varieties reference page.)

One subtype of strawberry plants that often garners some confusion are the strawberries that are considered short-day June-bearing strawberry plants.

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Pineberry Seeds for Sale

pineberry seeds for saleI have received several requests from people looking for pineberry seeds for sale.  Over the last year or two, many people have become interested in the “new” strawberry hybrid that has white accessory flesh and bright red seeds.  The introduction of these pineberries into the commercial retail store chain Waitrose in the United Kingdom (albeit on a limited basis) caused a surge of interest.

The unique selling point for pineberries is their unusual flavor.  They have a flavor that is a fusion of traditional strawberry flavor with pineapple overtones.  Hence, the pineapple + strawberry = pineberry.  The pineberry has been billed as a new strawberry variety.  In fact, that is not quite accurate.  While new to the commercial markets, it is actually quite old.  But, as this post deals with why it is so hard to find pineberry seeds for sale, please refer to the longer post that deals with the history and confusion surrounding this cultivar here: Pineberry Pineberries.

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Short-day Strawberry Plants

short day strawberry plantsMost people who enjoy eating strawberries that they buy at the grocery store never have any inkling that a multitude of decisions determined the size, shape, texture, and flavor of the strawberries they buy and consume.  But, in fact, strawberries are constantly undergoing selective breeding programs to try to breed a bigger, better, more consumer-friendly fruit.

For strawberry lovers everywhere, this is a great thing.  Each new strawberry cultivar that is developed as an improvement over an older variety brings more desirable traits to the strawberry market.  Everyone understands the benefits of having bigger, sweeter, and more durable strawberries.  One trait that is often overlooked by the home gardener (but is very important to the commercial growers within the strawberry farming industry), is the ability to initiate crops and harvests when less favorable seasonal conditions exist.

So, many of the strawberries in the store come from a group of plants called short-day strawberry plants.  Exactly what are short day strawberry plants, and why do they matter?

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Pineberry & Pineberries

pineberry

IF YOU JUST WANT TO PURCHASE YOUR OWN PLANTS, CLICK HERE NOW.  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 [2.54 cm] big) and the low yield of pineberry plants (see the videos below to better gauge the size of the berries).

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