Those white dots you’ll find on your strawberries aren’t actually seeds – but many people presume they are.
There are plenty of interesting facts about the strawberry – like did you know it’s not a fruit or a vegetable?
Botanists actually call it a ‘false fruit’, a pseudocarp, as per Carnegie Museum. It’s a multiple fruit which consists of many tiny individual fruits which are embedded into its case.
While it’s not a fruit, the strawberry also isn’t a berry either.
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It’s technically an aggregate fruit and from the Rosaceae family – with raspberries and blackberries also falling into this category.
The actual term ‘berry’ is vague and basically, it means any edible, fleshy fruit that contains seeds.
However, there is a scientific classification – so to be classed as a berry, the fruit must contain more than one seed, while being made up of an outer skin (exocarp) and a fleshy middle (mesocarp), with there also being an inner casing that contains the seeds (endocarp).
There are two distinct groups of berries, which are derived from a single ovary of an individual flower.
And it’s full of other surprises too, as the strawberry’s pitted accessories are not seeds.
Those seedy-looking parts are called achenes and they themselves are the plant’s fruit, with each containing a single fruit inside them.
‘Achene’ is a term which refers to the dry fruit produced by the many different flowering species, such as buckwheat and cannabis.
An average strawberry holds approximately 200 achenes.
Unlike the true berry group, strawberries on the swollen receptacle tissue hold the seed-carrying fruit on the surface.
When the strawberry flower is pollinated with fruit it doesn’t swell – unlike others – and instead, its receptacle tissue swells, resulting in the true fruits separating into small and dry achenes.
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As achenes contain just one seed, they also can’t be classified as a berry.
Interestingly, most strawberries aren’t even grown from their seeds.
Instead, the strawberry plants send out what’s called ‘runners’ and as they grow, little strawberry clones take root and begin to grow when they reach the ground.
Each mother plant can send out multiple runners and each runner can have multiple new strawberry plants – this behaviour makes up for the fact it has difficult to grow seeds.
And while most of this information will probably float over your head, it is important to remember that strawberries are one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
If you have a cupful of them, you’ll have more than the average adult’s daily allowance of vitamin C as well as valuable antioxidants, as per The Spruce.