Think Those White Dots On Your Strawberries Are Seeds? Think Again.
There are some questions we never think to ask, because we just assume that we already know the answers.
After all, we’ve been eating strawberries our whole lives – wouldn’t someone have told us if those little dots were something more interesting than seeds?
It turns out that for most of us, the answer to that is no.
They’re actually achenes and each contain a single seed, as they are the actual fruit of the plant. Strawberries aren’t technically berries, but aggregate fruit, just like raspberries and blackberries, which are also apparently poorly named.
They belong to the same family as roses.
Berries, on the other hand, must contain more than one seed and be made up of an outer skin, a fleshy middle, and an inner casing that holds the seeds. They’re also derived from a single ovary of an individual flower and are made up of two distinct groups.
One is citrus fruits and the other is the pepos group, which contains gourds, cucumbers, and watermelon.
So, what is the red part of the “berry” that we enjoy eating, then?
Well, it’s just swollen receptacle tissue that holds the seeds. In many instances, the fruit swells as it ripens, but in this case, the true fruit separates into small, dry achenes as the receptacle tissue swells instead.
Most strawberry plants are grown from clones that take root when they touch the ground, not from the seeds inside the achene at all.
The other fruits in the aggregate fruit category are outcasts in one way or another, too, so at least strawberries never have to feel alone.