We have some berry troubling news (pun intended!). Strawberries aren’t really berries. Some people don’t even consider them fruits!

What’s going on here? Follow along as we try to turn this mystery inside out!

People who study plants — called “botanists” — don’t consider strawberries to be true berries. True berries, such as cranberries and blueberries, have seeds inside them. If you cut open a strawberry, you will notice right away that there are no seeds inside.

Of course not! The seeds are on the outside, right? Well, sort of…

Technically, what we think of as a strawberry is the enlarged end of the part of the plant called the “stamen.” Usually, a fruit develops from the ovaries of a flower.

Most scientists — and all cooks — still consider strawberries to be fruits, though. Sometimes strawberries are called “aggregate accessory fruits” since the part we eat comes from the part that holds the ovaries instead of the ovaries themselves. Scientifically, the strawberry belongs to the genus Fragraria, which makes it a close relative to the rose.

The “seeds” you see on the outside of a strawberry are actually the plant’s ovaries and are called “achenes.” Each “seed” is technically a separate fruit that has a seed inside of it.

Despite all this confusion about strawberry seeds, most strawberries are not actually grown from seeds! As strawberry plants grow, they send out thin growths called “runners” or “clones.”

These runners look like strings. When they reach the ground, they send roots into the soil. The roots produce new strawberry plants.

So how did the humble strawberry get its name? No one knows for sure, but there are a few ideas of how the name might have come about.

Some believe that English children in the 19th century would pick strawberries and string them on grass straws to sell as “straws of berries.” Others think the name came from the practice of placing straw around the plants to protect them from the weather. Most people, however, believe “strawberry” came from “strewn berry” since strawberries appear to be “strewn” about on the plants where they grow.

The state of California produces about 88 percent of the fresh and frozen strawberries consumed in the United States. In 2010, more than 2 billion pounds of strawberries were handpicked and shipped all over the country.

Fun strawberry facts:

  • A serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange.
  • The green leafy part at the top of a strawberry is called the “calyx.”
  • If you lined up all the strawberries grown each year, they would circle the Earth almost 17 times!
  • In mild, coastal areas like California, strawberries grow year-round.

 

16 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (26 votes, avg. 4.58 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
  1. Here are my favorite facts Fun strawberry facts:

    •A serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange.
    •The green leafy part at the top of a strawberry is called the “calyx.”
    •If you lined up all the strawberries grown each year, they would circle the Earth almost 17 times!
    •In mild, coastal areas like California, strawberries grow year-round.
    Thank for the wonder

    • Those sure are some BERRY interesting facts, Megan! It makes us really happy to know that you learned so many new things about strawberries by exploring this Wonder of the Day® about them! Keep WONDERing…you ROCK! :-)

  2. Did you know that strawberries are not berries because of the seeds outside a strawberry. I love this video and wonder because I love strawberries so much.

    • We agree, Julie…we love strawberries, too! They sure are tasty! Thanks for sharing what you learned about strawberries and THANK YOU for being a friend of Wonderopolis! :-)

    • Thanks for letting us know your thoughts about the video for this Wonder, Rithik! We appreciate your comment! Sometimes we choose videos that explain the Wonder of the Day® a little more or work to help ignite thinking and creativity. Sometimes we choose videos that simply show people (or pets) doing something fun related to that Wonder’s topic, like we did for this video! We think the dog in the video didn’t know what to think about the strawberry, so it was super cute how it reacted with the fruit! :-)

  3. I eat strawberries, but I already know there are seeds outside of it. At first when I was little I ate strawberries, but I didn’t know there were seeds outside of it.

    • Hi there, Wonder Friend Brittney! We are so glad you’re remembering a time when you didn’t know that strawberries had seeds on them. We are so proud of you– you know so much! Thanks for sharing your comment with us today! :-)

  4. I like strawberries too. Because they are very
    sweet. I wish the video still available to view. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Hi there, Elizabeth! We are so glad you enjoyed our Wonder about one of your favorite fruits! We can’t wait for summer when strawberries are in season– YUM! Thanks for being a great Wonder Friend! We’re sorry to hear you cannot view the video, but perhaps you can try again at a later time, or visit the site directly: http://vimeo.com/971894# :)

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend AshleyKay! We are always opening our arms to awesome new Wonder Friends, just like you! We are glad you are here at Wonderopolis today– what did you learn about strawberry seeds? :)

    • We are so glad you enjoyed this Wonder video, MakedaG! We bet your dogs can do lots of cool things! Thank you for sharing your comment today– we Wonder if you will try to teach your dogs a new trick or two? :)

  5. I learned something new today. Yay and Thanks Big Bang Theory for the the thought, A strawberry is not a fruit?
    Just Had to google it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Share

  • Wonderopolis on Facebook
  • Wonderopolis on Pinterest
  • Print

Have you ever wondered…

  • Why does a strawberry have seeds on the outside?
  • Why do we call them “strawberries”?
  • Are strawberries really berries?

Wonder Gallery

fresh red strawberry_shutterstock_77084539Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to eat some strawberries? We sure are! This Wonder of the Day has made us hungry.

Grab a friend or family member, and head to the kitchen to try one of these delicious recipes that feature strawberries:

 

Still Wondering

Explore Science NetLinks’ The Science of Spring interactive activity to learn about seeds and how they grow!

 

Wonder Categories/Tags

Categories

Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day packs some serious heat. Batter up!

Upload a Photo or Paste the URL of a YouTube or SchoolTube Video.