Are Strawberries a Citrus Fruit?

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Strawberries grow well in pots on the patio; they have attractive white flowers and a trailing habit. Citrus trees can't be grown outside of the U.S. Department of Agriculture subtropical zones 9b through 10b, but there are dwarf citrus trees available which can be grown in containers and moved indoors in the winter. If you live in areas like Florida and Southern California, you can plant citrus trees outside and enjoy home-grown lemons, oranges or grapefruits.

Citrus

  • Citrus fruits are in the family Rutaceae or rue, and the genus Citrus. The Citrus genus consists of a group of trees that mostly grow in warm regions in the subtropical areas of the world; the exception is the pumelo that grows in the tropics. These trees all produce an acidic, fleshy berry referred to as a hesperidium. Hesperidia have waxy outer skins that contain oil glands with a spongy white sublayer; this exterior skin is a rind. Inside the fruit there are self-contained sections covered in a thin skin. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and store very well due to their thick rinds.

Strawberries

  • Strawberries are a member of the Rosaceae family, the same as the garden rose, and are in the Fragaria genus. Strawberries are perennial plants in USDA hardiness zones 5a through 8b, and can be grown as annuals elsewhere. The fruit of the strawberry is an achene with its seeds held on the surface. It is an aggregate fruit, meaning many ovaries are incorporated into each fruit. Garden varieties of strawberries spread by runners rather than new plants from seeds. Strawberries have three types. Everbearing strawberries mainly have berries in the spring and fall. June-bearing strawberries have large crops of fruit all at once in June. The third group of strawberries, called day-neutral strawberries, fruit repeatedly throughout the summer. Like citrus, strawberries are high in vitamin C.

Strawberries Are Not Citrus

  • Strawberries being a creeping groundcover are not a citrus fruit that grows on a tree. In addition, strawberries are an achene, not a hesperidium. They also grow in northern latitudes and do not have a thick, fleshy rind and in fact store and transport poorly compared to citrus fruits. Both citrus and strawberries are high in vitamin C and other vitamins.

Growing Strawberries

  • Because strawberries tolerate cold temperatures, they are well-suited to home growers. They have attractive white flowers with yellow centers. Strawberries require well-drained soil and need eight hours of sun for best fruiting. The first year that you grow strawberries, water them well and fertilize with nitrogen; do not expect fruits for most varieties. After the first year, you shouldn't fertilize the strawberry until it's borne fruit and don't fertilize at all as long as the plants are dark green. Supplement with iron sulfate if the leaves yellow. Replace strawberries every four years with no fruit production the first year, so staggering replacement will allow annual strawberry harvests.

References

  • Photo Credit ddsign_stock/iStock/Getty Images
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