Fragaria x ananassa

Botanical Name: Fragaria x ananassa
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. × ananassa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Fragaria grandiflora.

Common Name: Strawberry or Garden strawberry

Habitat : It is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The fruit (which is not a botanical berry, but an aggregate accessory fruit) is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness. It is consumed in large quantities, either fresh or in such prepared foods as preserves, fruit juice, pies, ice creams, milkshakes, and chocolates. Artificial strawberry flavorings and aromas are also widely used in many products like lip gloss, candy, hand sanitizers, perfume, and many others.

Description:
Fragaria x ananassa plants are rosette-forming perennials which spread by thin runners (stolons) growing to 0.3 m (1ft). The leaves are trifoliate, dark green but paler and haired on the undersides, on long petioles emerging from the crowns. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jun to August. The flowers have yellow centers, with the 5 petals white or occasionally pink, borne underneath the foliage canopy. The fruits need no describing.

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Strawberry varieties vary remarkably in fruit size, colour, flavour and shape, the degree of fertility, season of ripening, liability to disease and constitution of plant. Some vary in foliage, and some vary materially in the relative development of their sexual organs. In most cases the flowers appear hermaphroditic in structure, but function as either male or female.

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Cultivation:
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. Strawberries appreciate a mulch of pine or spruce leaves. The strawberry is widely cultivated in temperate areas for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties that can supply fruit from late spring (under cloches) to late autumn. Most strawberry varieties are day-length sensitive and only flower at certain times of the year. However, a number of cultivars have been selected that are not sensitive to day-length and can produce fruit for most of the summer. These cultivars are normally referred to as ‘remontants’. The blossom can be damaged by late spring frosts. 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.
Propagation :
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 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 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:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.

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. Young leaves – raw.

Strawberries are often used to flavor other foods, such as ice cream. Apart from its interest as a dessert fruit, the strawberry draws interest due to the peculiarities of its structure, its tendency towards variation, and the gardener’s success in exploiting this tendency.

Medicinal Uses:
Medicines made from Fragaria x ananassa is not known but it is highly delicious fruit. It has all the qualities & health benifits that fruits have.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fragaria+x+ananassa
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Horticulture/Fragaria_x_ananassa

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