Fragaria is a perennial plant growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to November, and the seeds ripen from Jun to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Strawberries are not true berries. The fleshy and edible part of the fruit is a receptacle, and the parts that are sometimes mistakenly called “seeds” are achenes. Although it is commonly thought that strawberries get their name from straw being used as a mulch in cultivating the plants, the etymology of the word is uncertain
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There are more than 20 described species and many hybrids and cultivars. The most common strawberries grown commercially are cultivars of the garden strawberry, a hybrid known as Fragaria × ananassa. Strawberries have a taste that varies by cultivar, and ranges from quite sweet to rather tart. Strawberries are an important commercial fruit crop, widely grown in all temperate regions of the world.
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced. This species is a hybrid of garden origin between two species from different genera, the cultivated strawberry, Fragaria x ananassa and the marsh cinquefoil, Potentilla palustris. It should eventually get a Latin name that combines parts of the two generic names, but until then it is included here under Fragaria. To date (1995) only one cultivar is available in garden centres etc. Called ‘Pink Panda’ it spreads very freely by means of runners, flowers heavily all through the summer, but does not produce much fruit.
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed 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 during the summer. This plant is a bi-generic hybrid and will not breed true from seed. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions
Edible Uses: ….Fruit eaten raw. A delicious flavour, the fruit is almost as large as an average cultivated strawberry but it is not very freely produced
Medicinal Uses: The plant is antiseptic, astringent, emmenagogue, galactogogue and odontalgic. It has been used to regulate the menstrual cycle. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used to treat burns.
Other Uses: Plants spread by means of runners and can be grown as a ground cover.
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