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Fragaria  is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, commonly known as strawberries for their edible fruits. Although it is commonly thought that strawberries get their name from straw being used as a mulch in cultivating the plants, the etymology of the word is uncertain.[3] There are more than 20 described species and many hybrids and cultivars. The most common strawberries grown commercially are cultivars of the garden strawberry, a hybrid known as Fragaria × ananassa. Strawberries have a taste that varies by cultivar, and ranges from quite sweet to rather tart. Strawberries are an important commercial fruit crop, widely grown in all temperate regions of the world.

Description

Strawberries are not true berries.[4] The fleshy and edible part of the fruit is a receptacle, and the parts that are sometimes mistakenly called “seeds” are achenes.[4][5]

Classification

There are more than 20 different Fragaria species worldwide. Numbers of other species have been proposed, some of which are now recognized as subspecies.[6] Key to the classification of strawberry species is recognizing that they vary in the number of chromosomes. There are seven basic types of chromosomes that they all have in common. However, they exhibit different polyploidy. Some species are diploid, having two sets of the seven chromosomes (14 chromosomes total). Others are tetraploid (four sets, 28 chromosomes total), hexaploid (six sets, 42 chromosomes total), octoploid (eight sets, 56 chromosomes total), or decaploid (ten sets, 70 chromosomes total).

As a rough rule (with exceptions), strawberry species with more chromosomes tend to be more robust and produce larger plants with larger berries.[7]

Diploid species

  • Fragaria daltonianaJ.Gay (Himalayas)
  • Fragaria iinumaeMakino (East Russia, Japan)
  • Fragaria nilgerrensisSchlecht. ex J.Gay (South and Southeast Asia)
  • Fragaria nipponicaMakino (Japan)
  • Fragaria nubicolaLindl. ex Lacaita (Himalayas)
  • Fragaria vescaCoville – Woodland Strawberry (Northern Hemisphere)
  • Fragaria viridisDuchesne (Europe, Central Asia)
  • Fragaria yezoensisH.Hara (Northeast Asia)

Tetraploid species

  • Fragaria moupinensisCardot (China)
  • Fragaria orientalisLozinsk. – (eastern Asia, eastern Siberia)

Hexaploid species

  • Fragaria moschataDuchesne – Musk strawberry (Europe)

Octoploid species and hybrids

  • Fragaria × ananassaDuchesne ex Rozier – Garden strawberry
  • Fragaria chiloensis(L.) Mill.– Beach strawberry (Western Americas)
    • Fragaria chiloensis subsp. chiloensis forma chiloensis
    • Fragaria chiloensis subsp. chiloensis forma patagonica (Argentina, Chile)
    • Fragaria chiloensis subsp. lucida(E. Vilm. ex Gay) Staudt (coast of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California)
    • Fragaria chiloensis subsp. pacificaStaudt (coast of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California)
    • Fragaria chiloensis subsp. sandwicensis(Decne.) StaudtʻŌhelo papa (Hawaiʻi)
  • Fragaria iturupensisStaudt – Iturup Strawberry (Iturup, Kuril Islands)
  • Fragaria virginianaMill. – Virginia Strawberry (North America)

Decaploid species and hybrids

  • Fragaria × Potentilla hybrids
  • Fragaria × vescana

Ecology

A number of species of butterflies and moths feed on strawberry plants: see list of Lepidoptera that feed on strawberry plants.

 

Written on April 23rd, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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