Fragaria × ananassa
Fragaria × ananassa Duchesne
Fragaria × cultorum Thorsrud & Reisaeter
Fragaria × grandiflora Ehrh.
Fragaria × magna auct.
Fragaria bathonica Poit. & Turpin
Fragaria bonariensis Juss. ex Pers.
Fragaria calyculata (Duchesne) Duchesne ex Steud.
Fragaria caroliniana Poit. & Turpin
Fragaria caroliniensis Duchesne
Fragaria chiloensis auct.
Fragaria chiloensis ananassa (Duchesne ex Rozier) Ser.
Fragaria chiloensis ananassa Duchesne ex Weston
Fragaria chiloensis calyculata (Duchesne) Ser.
Fragaria chiloensis carolinensis Duchesne ex Weston
Fragaria chiloensis tincta Duchesne ex Sm.
Fragaria cuneifolia Nutt. ex Howell
Fragaria hybrida Duchesne
Fragaria latiuscula Greene
Fragaria suchiana Poit. & Turpin
Fragaria tincta Duchesne
Fragaria vesca ananassa (Duchesne ex Weston) Aiton
Potentilla × ananassa (Duchesne ex Weston) Mabb.
Common Name: Strawberry
Fragaria × ananassa (the cultivated strawberry) is a herbaceous perennial plant producing a rosette of leaves from a short central stem (the crown). The plant grows around 30cm tall and wide[
Unknown in the wild, the plant is widely cultivated, especially in the temperate zone but also at higher elevations in the tropics, for its edible fruit.
A hybrid of garden origin, arising in Europe around 1750 as the result of a cross between Fragaria chiloensis and Fragaria virginiana.
Not known in the wild.
Strawberries are essentially a species of temperate climates, but can be cultivated successfully at elevations above 1,000 metres in tropical latitudes. They grow best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 11 - 24°c, but can tolerate 6 - 28°c[
]. When dormant, they can survive temperatures down to about -15 to -20°c, but flowers can be severely damaged at -0.5 to -3°c[
]. They prefer a mean annual rainfall in the range 600 - 900mm, but tolerate 300 - 1,700mm[
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position[
]. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced when plants grow in such a position. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 6.8, tolerating 4.5 - 8.2[
During the growing season new plants are produced on runners - prostrate stems emerging from the leaf axils of mature plants. These runners are used as propagation material[
Most strawberry varieties are day-length sensitive and only flower at certain times of the year. In the tropics, where days are always short, flowers can be initiated throughout the year from the moment the plants have reached a certain minimum size. In the absence of winter cold few if any runners are formed, but as growing conditions are favourable, there are many crowns per plant. Cultivars, however, differ greatly with respect to chilling requirements and critical daylength (some are even day-neutral). In northern Thailand, at a latitude of 18°N, the cultivar 'Tioga' follows a clear seasonal pattern of growth - runners form throughout the rainy season from May to September; thereafter crowns form; flowering starts in October and fruit can be harvested from November to April or longer, depending on the onset of the rains[
Although continuous flowering and fruiting is possible in the tropics, the crop in the rainy season is often not worthwhile because of a low growth rate, poor pollination and high incidence of fruit rot[
There are only very limited cultivar collections in South-East Asia. Since 'Tioga' and other Californian cultivars are so much better than cultivars from higher latitudes, it makes sense to introduce and test the new cultivars released in California[
The fruit can be harvested 180 - 270 days from planting - plants have an economic life of 2 - 4 years[
The plant thrives in mild climates, without extremes of temperature and humidity. Windbreaks, mulching and irrigation are recommended to limit stress. The plant requires a period of winter chilling to overcome the dormancy period, the chilling temperatures and period differ among cultivars[
Flowering and fruiting demand a fairly dry season. In waterlogged conditions soil fungi may kill the plant[
Average fruit yields range from 10 - 60 t/ha[
]. Average yields of 12.5 tonnes for the lowlands and 17.5 tonnes for the highlands of northern Thailand indicate that the strawberry can be a heavy cropper in the tropics[
Plants appreciate a mulch of pine or spruce leaves[
Oat straw should not be used as a mulch since this can infect the strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm.
Strawberry plants are very subject to virus diseases, these are usually spread by an aphid. Plants tend to degenerate after a few years and need to be replaced. Seed is a safe means of propagation though, since this species is of hybrid origin, the seed will not breed true.
Strawberries are a good companion plant, growing well with bush beans, spinach, borage, lettuce and pyrethrum[
Fruit - raw. Fruits of the best cultivars are sweet and succulent with an exquisite flavour[
]. Strawberries are a very popular fruit and are widely available in the summer. The fruit of some cultivars is up to 3cm in diameter[
The fruits are a good source of vitamin C, they can be eaten fresh, frozen, in confectionery or made into jam, ice cream, or beverage[
Seed - it can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out when large enough. This is a hybrid species and seed will not breed true, though this is the only way to develop new varieties.
Division of runners, preferably done in the rainy season in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop[
]. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
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