Who doesn’t love strawberries? Since May is National Strawberry Month, here are some things to learn about one of our favorite fruits.
Strawberries are unique. We call them “berries”, but true berries have seeds inside. Strawberries produce their own tiny, yellow seeds on the outside, which are tiny fruits. There are 200 seeds on the outside of each strawberry. The red part that we eat is actually an enlarged flower stem.
Strawberry plants are perennials, which means they grow year after year. Strawberry plants are usually grown from runners or offshoots from the original plants. In early spring, blossoms begin to bloom on strawberry plants. The blossoms are pollinated by insects or by the wind. As the flower petals die, small green berries begin to grow. The berries turn red as they ripen in the sun. Don’t pick the berries before they turn red! Once picked, berries don’t ripen more.
Strawberries are one of the top fruits and vegetables to contain pesticides. Pesticides are used to keep pests away from the growing plants, but they are harmful to people. Buy organic fruit if possible and wash the berries before eating.
- Strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges.
- Ancient Romans believed strawberries had healing powers and would eat them when they were sick.
- Americans eat an average of 3.4 pounds of strawberries a year.
- Strawberries are a member of the rose family, along with apples, cherries, almonds, and other flowering plants.
- Unfortunately, some people are allergic to strawberries.