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).

Are Pineberries Real?

pineberriesYes, 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

pineberry plantsCommercial 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

pineberry & pineberriesPineberries 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. buy pineberries

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…

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.

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:

1. Hirt’s Gardens
2. Burpee
3. Nourse Farms
4. Burgess Seed & Plant Co.
5. Park Seed Co.
6. Kelly Nurseries
7. Exciting Gardens
8. Hartmann’s Plant Co.
9. Stark Bros.

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?

pineberry seedsPresently, 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:

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Pineberry & pineberries, hooray!

104 thoughts on “Pineberry & Pineberries”

  1. Directed to Mr Strawberry
    Is the pineapple strawberry an ever bearing plant or a seasonal variety?
    Our patch had flowers and gave us one cycle and is not producing anymore flowers.
    Normal???
    Thnx

    • Snakeeyes,
      Yes, most of the Pineberry varieties are June-bearing. So, they’ll give one big crop and then be basically done for the rest of the year. Good luck!

  2. Hi,
    Having had a problem with mice and ground grown red strawberries, last year I grew them in hanging baskets.

    This year I am trying pineberries.

    Please could you advise on best growing conditions for these in a rural area accessible to mice? (eg ground/hanging baskets/
    raised bed/containers)

    Many thanks

    • Carolyn,
      The best option is to keep them away from hungry critters, so if you can keep them suspended where the vermin can’t get to them, that is probably your best bet. Or, try to exterminate the mice. Good luck!

    • Julie,
      Yes, but once they thaw they’d be gooey mess, just like regular strawberries. And, since they are soft, they need to be frozen soon after picking. Good luck!

  3. thanks Mr. Strawberry.

    I have had these plants for a while now (3 weeks) they were doing well in the Sun, growing leaves… but the new plant I got a week ago might have had a problem and it has white stuff on the leaves, which is affecting the other plants. SoI sprayed the serande fungicide on it. It still has those white patches….. and now all the plants doesn’t look too well with brown patches and shriveled leaves, do you think the spray is killing the plant?

    Thanks

    Mike

  4. Hello everyone, I apologize in advance if this is not the correct thread to ask this question.

    I got a couple strawberry plant the new Pinberry (white pineapple strawberry). They were doing fine until I decided to buy another one and then the leaves started to turn white patches.

    I think it is a fungus of some sort. So I sprayed the Seranade garden spray on the plant 2 days ago. I don’t see the white stuff going away, but the leaves now are turning brown.

    Can anyone help to see if I can save the plants?

    Thanks

    • Mike,
      It sounds like sun scorch. A lot of times plants coming from nurseries or mail-order or big box stores like Lowes or Home Depot will have the plants shaded or grown in grow houses. Putting them directly outside without first hardening them to the elements will cause something like what you describe. Fortunately, the plants usually survive. Watch carefully over the next few days and see if they start putting out new leaves. If they do, the new leaves should do fine, and the plants should perk back up. Good luck!

  5. Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada: April 30, picked up 8x 4″ pots at $8 CAD + tax at Lowes fresh off the shipping pallets, for a bed start. Heavy artificial fertilization obviously done to them, and they have some flowering and runners starting.

    It is called and marketed as “Wonderful Pineberry™”, and from the trade marking (claim at this time), and some basic research, appears to be “Fragaria chiloensis x virginiana”

    Inventory number 667147
    http://plantguide.lowes.ca/plant.aspx?code=L27206

    Some apparently for less nearby @ $4.50 CAD, which I plan to visit to look at them. http://www.whiffletreefarmandnursery.ca/product_p/pine001.htm

    Also, I also have found some information from a Missouri university site which makes for interesting read.

    http://ipm.missouri.edu/MEG/2015/2/Pineberry-A-Reintroduced-Strawberry/

  6. US shipping to Canada is evasive, better for them to say no. Strawberry plant material import to Canada from Continental US is not on the list for needing permits. Except for California to British Columbia, doesn’t need special treatment either. I didn’t see UK in the lists, likely why my recent seed import got held up for inspection.

    Oh, and for us Canadians; coming to Lowes.ca in an 11cm pot this spring! Pineberries mentioned in page 9.

    Great site here too, thanks!

    http://www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-protection/imports/permit-usa/eng/1343427289390/1343427392092

    http://www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-protection/directives/horticulture/d-95-08/appendix-1/eng/1322423173660/1322423886642

    http://flyers.lowes.ca/flyers/lowes-catalogue?sf_any=true&flyer_run_id=58841&type=2&postal_code=n2n3c1&store_code=2889#!/flyers/lowes-catalogue?flyer_run_id=58841

  7. is there a such thing as a blue strawberry cause i had bought some seeds online and i wanted to know if they would actually grow to be blue?

    • Aaron,
      Unfortunately, no. There aren’t any blue strawberries (yet). The pictures you see on eBay and other sites are just photoshopped pictures of strawberries. Sorry!

  8. Thanks for the info! If anybody wants to see the size from White D, follow the link. Look around a photo of a nice Musk Strawberry too. Man both the Pineberries and Musk are really good eating fruit. They are rather soft. I have been freezing damaged ones for jam, a Pineberry-Musk berry jam, man that is going to be good! I will throw some regulars and alpine in there too. Get some color. As a white jam might not look appealing, but a pink jam would.
    Photos can be used here, if you want to. I took them.
    http://s128.photobucket.com/user/whitenoise_photo/media/035.jpg.html

    I should have cleaned that berry before the photo.
    Best photo is of this Musk Strawberry
    http://s128.photobucket.com/user/whitenoise_photo/media/038.jpg.html

  9. This is my 2nd year growing pineberries. White D does seem to be the better choice. berries are large, and a prolific producer. I still have a problem determining when ripe. I noticed some snails munching on a couple of my pineberries! Which brings up a question. Can you leave snail damaged fruits on plant to ripen? Or should one remove them?
    OK back to ripeness, being soft is not a good indicator as they become soft before being ripe. At least it seems that way. What I’m doing now is when i think they are ripe, i leave them on one extra day, at least I’m going to try this. i have some about ripe right now. man they look good too! Plants in 2nd year are producing ton’s of berries.

    • Andrew Fignar,
      Yes, you can leave mildly damaged fruit on the plant to finish ripening. And, thank you for the information!

  10. Hi I had been taking care of pineberry from start boy its been long time to get pineberry I don’t know if I didn’t do right take care of this plant you can see this link website tell me what you think when I bought ebay and then put freeze seeds for 2 weeks then put soil and it finally came grow month wow what take so long nd it grow very slow when I put starter seed with small black box and so slow I gave up take out put upside down as you can see picture and it grow fast the better but it keep long single ahh did I do right thing or is this not pineberry ??

  11. Hi! I just bought 1 pineberry plant and some bare root plants.
    I have a couple questions , first when can I plant them outside because the bare root plants are VERY small and I don’t want them to die if it gets down to 30 deg outside.
    also, how many would you plant in a 16 in wide 36 in long planter?
    and, how many berries are given in one season per plant?

    thanks so much!

    • Sandy Cortez,
      Thanks for the information! I looked them up just a minute ago, however, and they do not have any of the pineberry varieties listed for sale. They do say they offer Albion and Chandler, but those both produce red fruit.

    • lovelife,
      The actual berries are difficult to find because they have a very, very short shelf life. The best way to get them is to order plants from one of the suppliers listed above and grow them yourself. Good luck!

  12. Mr strawberry:
    Thanks for the information. I am not familiar with the commercial production overseas.could you give me some advice about the commercial production. people who planted blueberry once earned a lot of money in china. I just want to got this kind of information. Maybe I can find a potential plant from overseas .Looking forward your feedback. Thank you!

  13. hello,I am from china. I am very interested in this pineberry. could you give me more information about it,such as
    how many plants needed in 1000m2,what is the yield for the area(1000m2).I am considering the possibility of profit in china. So i am very appreciate if you can reply.

    • molly,
      In all honesty, you’ll likely do better with a different variety for commercial production. The pineberry varieties that are available at present are relatively small, only produce a moderate yield, and have softer and more easily damaged berries. For commercial production, that means it is very difficult to ship them successfully. If you do try it with the pineberry variety, let me know how it goes! Good luck!

    • Lois,
      They are non-GMO, but you will have to check with the supplier to determine if they are grown organically. Most are not grown organically.

  14. I think Alpines whites taste more like pineapple than pineberries. Although the flavor is quite unique. I have all three cultivars and was wondering if these should be renovated or not?

    • Andrew Fignar,
      Technically, strawberry renovation is reserved for June-bearing varieties because they produce one major crop and then are finished for the season. You can, however, still thin the plants and provide them with needed nutrients. Good luck!

  15. It was delicious! I didn’t get pineapple, athough it was tangy. I suppose that could be considered pineapple-y to more discriminating palates.

    🙂

  16. how can i tell when pineberries are optimally ripe? i have a plant and one of the berries is white with red achenes above but beige achenes below where the berry is in contact with the soil. there’s only this one berry and i don’t want to eat it if i can wait for it to become more tasty. there are a few other berries but they’re obviously unripe (tiny with beige achenes all over). Thanks!

    • William Perez,
      You should wait until the achenes are red to the tip. Also, if they are being grown outside, they will often have a slight pinkish/orange tinge to their white accessory flesh. Ripe pineberries will also be fairly soft, so you should feel some give/softness with gentle pressure.

  17. Hello,
    I’m from Portugal, it’s possible to produce pineberries here? We have a lots of strawberries…and i never seen one pineberrie here, i think we have good weather conditions for them.
    what should be the best way to start seeds or small pineberrie plants? Where can i buy?

    Thanks
    Ana

    • Ana Barradas,
      If you can grow strawberries where you live, you can grow pineberries. Pineberries don’t grow true from seed, however, so don’t buy “pineberry seeds” anywhere. You can get plants from the above suppliers. I’m not sure what restrictions are placed on vegetative plant life as it crosses national borders within the European Union, but you might be able to get plants shipped to you from one of the suppliers listed above. Good luck!

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