Is a strawberry a fruit? Yes, strawberries are fruits, but not a true fruit. Fruits are the sweet, pulpy edible structure of a plant that develops from a flower and contains seeds. That description suits a strawberry only that the red fleshy part of the strawberry (the receptacle) is not the fruit, but the seeds are the fruit itself.
The strawberries are aggregate fruits because they form from more than one ovary of the same flower. The achenes (seeds) at the surface play an important role in reproducing these plants, making this a reproductive body as well!
Can you guess what a strawberry is? It’s not actually an actual berry. Berries stem from flowers with one ovary, but strawberries grow out of multiple flower parts! So let us delve deeper into whether a strawberry is a fruit. Keep reading!
What are strawberries considered?
Strawberries belong to the rose family and Rosoideae subfamily with clusters of pistils that turn to achenes upon maturity. These red fruits belong to the Genus Fragaria. Fragaria has different species all over the world, with the garden strawberry being the most FAMOUS.
Lots of people consider strawberry a fruit, which isn’t true. Strawberries date back to ancient times, where they were consumed in small amounts. Back then, they were hard, with almost no flavor. If you have tasted the modern strawberries, I know you can’t help but wonder how the current juicy red strawberries were once upon a time hard, with no flavor.
In the 1700s, the strawberry species grown in North America was crossed with the South American Species giving the now succulent flavor. The culinary world considers strawberries as fruits that can be consumed dry, fresh, or frozen. Because of their sweet flavor, they are mainly served as a dessert or snack.
Strawberries can freely be used in breakfast drinks, pancakes, waffles, salad toppings, and even alcoholic beverages. Tons of other ways they have been used are in cereals, dairy products, and jam making.
Botanically, strawberries might be considered false fruits but have been declared as fruits legally. In the 1893 Nix vs. Hedden case, the court wanted to determine whether strawberries should be classified as vegetables or fruits. The court ruled they be classified as fruits. Some had argued that it is a vegetable, as they were mainly eaten as a primary or side dish.
In language, the Merriam-Webster dictionary considers strawberry as a berry or a fruit. The dictionary also has different definitions of fruit, and you will find the strawberry falling under the categories of being a fruit and not a fruit.
For instance, one definition of a fruit is the edible reproductive part of a seed plant. That definition doesn’t fit a strawberry being considered a fruit. Likewise, they defined a fruit as the fleshy tissue that conserves moisture and is used in desserts. That definition clearly suits a strawberry.
Strawberries are considered multiple fruits, with many single fruits embedded in a flesh receptacle. The achenes, considered the seeds, are brownish or whitish in color and usually surround every strawberry. That means that strawberries do not reproduce by seeds.
Parts of a strawberry fruit
Strawberry fruit has different parts that include:
The peduncle is the strawberry stem that attaches the strawberry fruit to the strawberry plant during growth.
The calyx is the green part of a strawberry. This part is edible and can aid in digestion. The cap is also rich in vitamins that help fight arthritis.
This is the red fleshy part of a strawberry. Upon pollination of a strawberry flower, the receptacle tissue grows and changes to this magnificent red pulp.
Achenes are the actual strawberry fruits. They are termed as seeds, and that would contrast the fact that seeds usually embed in the insides of many fruits. In this case, strawberry seeds/achenes are outside and can even take a yellowish color.
Vascular bundles are the lighter-colored strings of flesh in a strawberry.
This is the outer skin of the strawberry.
Fruits similar to strawberries
As mentioned earlier, strawberries belong to the genus Fragaria and the Rose family. The strawberry plant itself is herbaceous or shrubs. The strawberry is primarily perennial, but some are annual. Some fruits similar to strawberries include:
Strawberries are pretty similar to other berries like:
Blackberries are widely grown all over the world. They grow in a cluster of drupelets.
Raspberry taste is sweet and tart. The tartness is dominant in berries that are a bit unripe but turn sweet when ripe.
The boysenberries are a hybrid cross of blackberries and raspberries. They produce plump berries that are high in anthocyanins. The boysenberry taste is quite similar to raspberries tart taste but a bit concentrated. These berries are vastly grown in Asia, Europe, and North America. They are flavorful and small in size.
Strawberries are pretty similar to tree fruits under genus Prunus that include:
These fruits usually have a dusty white and waxy coat that gives them their appearance. When dried, they have a dark and wrinkled appearance.
Peaches are famous in Northwest China. They are juicy with white or yellowish flesh and velvet-like skin.
Nectarines are round and yellow-red in color. They are the same size as apples with a smooth and firm skin that is entirely edible as the flesh.
Cherries come in three different species; some are sour, sweet, and the dukes are heart-shaped. Dukes is a cross of sweet and sour cherries. All varieties provide our bodies with vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorous.
Others in the Rosacea family as the strawberries are apple, pear, and quince. Almonds are also great fruits similar to the strawberry.
What are strawberries classified as?
Botanists classify strawberries as a false fruit or multiple fruits. Strawberries do not develop from the plants’ ovaries, which disqualifies them from being fruit.
Strawberries consist of many fruits that are embedded in the flesh/receptacle of the strawberries. Those tiny fruits, which many confuse for seeds, are the actual fruit in the strawberry. The fruits are high in fiber essential in our bodies.
Unlike tomatoes and kiwis that are classified as berries, strawberries aren’t. This is because it is an aggregate fruit. Berries seeds are usually covered in the insides of the fruits, which isn’t the case with strawberries.
The strawberry plant itself is classified as a herb as it has few woody tissues above the ground. This makes them grow relatively short.
Why strawberry is not a fruit
Culturally, the majority believe that strawberries are fruits, which is wrong. Fruits are mature and ripened ovaries that grow into a flower then develop into a fruit. The ovaries have seeds in them that can be reproduced to get more plants.
Strawberries come from plants’ flowering parts: the strawberry receptacle, the fleshy red part we eat, and the enlarged stalk of the flower. The seeds on the receptacles, which are one-seeded, are the fruit themselves. Either way, when eating strawberries, you ideally eat the fruit but not the part you think of as a fruit.
What kind of fruit is a strawberry?
Strawberries are false fruits because they form from a flower or a tissue. True fruits grow from ovaries. Strawberries are also termed aggregate fruits as they are made of more than one fruit. They are ideally formed from the tissues of enlarged receptacles. Hybrid strawberries adapt to different climatic regions quickly.
Are strawberries the only fruits with seeds on the outsides?
Strawberries are unique fruits that are spread by fur or bird feathers. When you bite into a strawberry, it sticks to your teeth because of the seeds on the outsides. Cashew fruits, which have a bell pepper shape, are the other fruit with their seeds sitting on the outside.
Each cashew fruit has one seed, unlike strawberries fruit that can have even 100 seeds on it. Cashews grow from drupes with a tasty seed on the inside, referred to as the cashew nut. The cashew drupe is what’s desired as food, not the pit itself.
Examples of false fruits
Fruits are angiosperms that are formed in the ovary after the flowering process occurs. So technically, any fruit that develops from a fertilized ovary of a flower is a true fruit/ eucarp. Fruits do not form the same way; some form from unfertilized ovaries and are called false fruits. These false fruits form from the adjacent tissues like the receptacles, penducle, perianth, and calyx.
Types of false fruits
False fruits are divided into three types:
An example is a strawberry with achenes that are actually the fruits themselves, with the aggregate tissue being the strawberry itself.
Their flowers ripen into a hollow fruit like that of a fig.
The ovaries are enclosed in the floral tube as in a pear.
Other examples include:
- Jack fruits
- Syzygium Jambos
Why do strawberry seeds sit on the outside?
Strawberries do not necessarily rely on seeds for them to reproduce. After pollination, the strawberry fruit does not swell. Instead, the fertilized ovaries form a flower that later swells and grows triangular due to the change in receptacle tissues. The seeds spread by birds spread relatively fast and hence hastened reproduction.
These seeds(achenes) are technically different fruits with seeds on their outside. And what the majority do not know is that strawberry plants do not grow from seeds. As a plant grows, it produces clones that are string-like and send roots to the ground that grow to the strawberry plant.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQS)
Is strawberry a tropical fruit?
Strawberries are widely grown in both mild-tropical and sub-tropical regions. They can do well In tropical climates where temperatures go to as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is strawberry a vegetable?
No! they are aggregate fruits from the strawberry plant.
Can a strawberry fruit be grown from a strawberry?
Strawberries are grown from strawberry clones of existing plants or from seeds.
What part of strawberry is not edible?
The red receptacle is quite eatable. You can also munch into the seeds without worry. The leaves in strawberries are perfect for reducing arthritis pain. So generally, all parts are pretty safe to consume.
Can strawberries affect me?
Strawberry leaves are used in tea making. As expected, not everyone reacts so well to strawberry products. Allergic reactions can range from itching to redness and short breathing. If you notice these symptoms after consuming strawberries, it could be an allergic reaction, and you should visit the hospital before they persist.
How much fiber is in strawberries?
A 100g strawberry contains 2g fiber. This fiber helps in fighting constipation and lowering weight in overweight persons. An average of 14g fiber is recommended to be consumed daily for an average calorie intake of 1000.
Are strawberries suitable for children?
It’s actually one of the healthiest fruits for children, not forgetting its sweet juicy taste every child would love. Moreover, it is packed with vitamin C and minerals necessary for the child’s growth.
You now understand whether strawberries are fruits or not. Classified as an aggregate fruit, it can help improve your cholesterol levels, fight cancer cells, and lower blood pressure, among many other advantages it has.