Strawberries

Strawberries

ORIGIN

Fragaria x ananassa are more commonly known as the Garden Strawberry, or simply Strawberries.

Strawberries are part of the Rosaceae family, which also contains a wide range of other edible fruits such as raspberries, pears, cherries, peaches, apples and more. As the Rosaceae name suggests, this family also contains ornamental roses.

They don't exactly have an origin as such, as these plants are cultivated, i.e. they're not found in the wild. However, they have a long history of being grown to be eaten (as well as for other purposes). It's thought that they were originally cultivated in Ancient Rome, but the first documented Strawberry plant appears as a botanical illustration as far back as 1454!

Strawberries

CARE

In order to stay healthy and happy, Strawberry plants need light and plenty of it! Ideally they should be exposed to at least 6 hours of full sun per day - a bright windowsill is perfect. If your home isn't naturally light enough then you can supplement this with grow lights.

They also need a lot of water, although you should never let the soil become waterlogged. Strawberries have a very shallow root system, so it's important to help protect your plant from developing root rot. Check the soil before watering again to make sure it's not too moist.

If you're growing your Strawberries for the purpose of eating the fruits, you should remove the runners as you see them (shooting out these runners is how Strawberry plants reproduce). This is because producing runners takes energy away from growing fruit.

Strawberries 2

OTHER

Strawberries have a lot of symbolic value as well as being prized for their taste. They're often considered to be a 'romantic' food and have been linked to the Goddess of Love due to their vibrant red color (with red commonly being seen to represent love) and their heart-like shape.

They're not just grown to be eaten, though. Throughout history, Strawberries have been used medicinally and for cosmetic purposes. For example, parts of the berries, leaves and roots were used as a digestive tonic and to help treat gout. Externally, Strawberries have previously been used to treat skin imperfections and to help whiten teeth, as well as being used as a means to relieve sunburn. Whether or not these methods are actually effective is debatable though!