Strawberries are perhaps the most famous fruit with the “berry” suffix. Bright red and glistening with flavor, these fruits are perhaps one of the first you got introduced to as a child.
Over the years, there has been a considerable amount of argument over strawberries and their composition.
The primary question is simple – do strawberries have seeds? Well, the answer is yes. However, the seed isn’t exactly what you think. When you see the strawberry, you most likely notice those bright yellow spots on its flesh. Many believe that these are its seeds, and that the strawberry is a fruit with seeds outside its flesh. However, this isn’t true.
In this piece, we’ll examine the strawberry and look into how this deceptive fruit operates.
The Strawberry – A Quick Anatomy Lesson
While the strawberry is a fruit, it isn’t actually classified like many other fruits. For instance, despite its name, the strawberry isn’t classified as a “true berry” because it lacks thick skin and any pericarp (layers that form out of the ovary’s wall). These features botanically define berries, and the strawberry lacks them.
So, while true berries include cranberries, grapes, and the eggplant, the strawberry isn’t included in this category.
Instead, strawberries are classified as aggregate fruits – like blackberries and raspberries as well. Aggregate fruits are formed through the amalgamation of several ovaries in a single flower. In the case of the strawberry, it grows from a flower, with a sweet red flesh that grows below the hull. That flesh – which we all sink our teeth into when we eat strawberries – is known as the receptacle.
The strawberry’s flower has white petals that reflect light and attract bees. The bees pollinate the fruit, and the receptacle swells to draw stray animals who eventually eat them and disperse the “true” fruit.”
What are Fruits and What are Seeds?
When you look at the strawberry and see those yellow spots, you think those are the seeds. However, they are actually the “true fruits” of the strawberry. Technically, these small seed-like bits are known as achenes. Each of them is a fruit.
Inside each achene, you can find the actual strawberry seed. Those are what animals disperse, and they’re primarily responsible for propagation. An average strawberry should hold about 200 of those achenes. Perhaps try counting the next one you see if you’ve got the time to kill.
How Strawberries Grow
The achenes on strawberries themselves are already tiny, so you can imagine just how small the actual seeds are. With such a small size, you might wonder how strawberries grow.
Generally, the strawberry doesn’t really rely on seeds for growth – although, of course, the seeds themselves can grow new plants. Instead, most strawberries grow through clones or runners. These runners grow and stretch out of the main strawberry plans until they find a suitable place to plant themselves.
Each strawberry plant can sprout several runners, and each runner can have several independent strawberry plants. This propagation method is one of the primary reasons why strawberry seeds are so small in the first place.
Eventually, however, strawberries grow to maturity and produce several interesting nutritional benefits. A mature strawberry is actually one of the healthiest fruits out there. In a cup of strawberries, you can find the average daily provision of vitamin C for an adult – as well as some much-needed antioxidants.
How to Grow Strawberry Seeds
if you’re a strawberry lover, you might be thinking about growing some for yourself since they can be pretty expensive if you choose to keep buying from stores.
So, can you grow strawberry seeds? Yes, you can. The process is quite complicated and can take some time, but you can definitely get it done.
Here is a quick rundown of what you need to do:
The first step in growing your strawberry seeds will be to gather berries and put them in a blender. Keep the blender speed low and blend them once. While you will most likely destroy many achenes in the process, rest assured that strawberries have enough to spare.
Pour the pulp you get into a strainer. Move it to a sink and run some water through the strainer. It will wash away the excess pulp, and you will be able to find unbroken achenes easily. Spread those on a paper towel and let them dry naturally. If there are any additional bits of pulp, take them out.
Your next step will be to freeze the achenes you got. Freezing will essentially trick the achenes into going through their winter cycle. When they thaw and warm up, they kick into their spring cycle and are more primed to germinate.
Remember to put the achenes into a sealable container or plastic bag. Leave the entire thing in the freezer for three weeks to a month.
When you’re ready to plant, take the achenes out of the freezer and let them warm up to normal room temperature. Leave them in the container until they’re warm. Keep in mind that you will need to protect the achenes from the air while they warm up. You want them to be as dry as possible, as excess moisture can damage them at this point.
From there, plant the achenes in a regular seed tray. Strawberries grow best in fertile, slightly acidic soil. So, go for a pH around 6, and you can add some sulfur if necessary. Add some water to dampen the soil, then sprinkle the achenes over the soil. Use some soil or peat moss to cover the achenes, and cover the entire tray with some plastic wrap.
Keep the achenes warm and moist regularly. You can place the seed tray in direct sunlight and let the achenes breathe in some air from time to time. Be patient with the achenes, as they need anything between a week and six to germinate properly. Once you see them germinating, take out the plastic wrap entirely.
- Strawberries have seeds, no matter the variant.
- However, while many think the seeds are those yellow spots on the strawberries’ flesh, the real seeds are inside those “spots.”
- Strawberry seeds are healthy, and they have minimal side effects on anyone.
- You can easily grow strawberry seeds from the comfort of your home.