Short-lived perennials, strawberries (Fragaria spp.) produce best in the second and third year they are in the garden, so replacing part of your crop yearly can ensure a yearly supply of the tasty fruit. All of the several types of strawberries look similar, so identification depends on when they fruit.
Examine your plant to determine that it is a Fragaria spp. The compound leaves of the strawberry have three oval leaflets with large teeth. The strawberry spreads by runners, slender above-ground stems that put down roots and form new plants.
Observe the red flowers; the flower of the strawberry has five petals and five sepals, the green petal-like structure that lies beneath the petals. The center of the strawberry flower is bright yellow.
Characterize the redness of the flower. Fragaria spp. plants have white flowers, but the strawberry has been crossbred to red-flowered potentilla plants to produce colored flowers. First generation crossbred species "Pink Panda" has bright pink and white flowers with yellow centers. The sport, or mutation, of "Pink Panda," "Franor" has hot pink to red flowers with 10 petals instead of five. The variety "Lipstick" has five fuchsia-red petals. The variety "Gerald Straley" has bright red flowers.
Tips & Warnings
- Mock strawberry has yellow blooms.
- None of the hybrid ornamental strawberries fruit as well as Fragaria spp.
- University of Wisconsin: Strawberries for the Home Garden; Doug S. Foulk et. al; 209
- Garden World Images: Frageria
- University of Minnesota; Strawberries for the Home Garden; Doug S. Foulk
- "Hortus Third"; Staff of L.H. Bailey Hortorium Cornell University; 1976
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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