Hello Gardener, Welcome!
Many gardeners put in a strawberry patch so they can enjoy growing their own delicious red delights. However, did you know that not all strawberries are red and not all blossoms are white? Here are a few of the more unusual strawberry plants that you might want to experiment with during this growing season.
If you have ever tried foraging in Europe, it is likely that you came across the alpine strawberry. These delicious little fruits grow in abundance in the wild. Good news is that they are slowly starting to become more available in nurseries in the United States. You can also try starting them from seed. They are smaller than the strawberries that we are used to eating but packed with an abundance of flavor.
White Carolina Pineberries
At first blush, it seems like this is simply a strawberry experiment gone wrong. After all, the outer flesh is white and the seeds are red. This, however, is merely the result of crossing together a white strawberry from South America with our familiar red strawberry. Look for a plant as the seeds will not run true to type. The flavor is said to be reminiscent of pineapple, inspiring its common name.
You would want to place these near your other strawberries to help pollination rates. Yield is not as abundant as standard strawberries, as well as being a bit more of a delicate plant, so these are best treated as a fun novelty. They do bloom in the spring and again in the late summer, almost like an ever-bearer.
Purple Wonder Strawberries
If we’re getting into technicalities, the ‘Purple Wonder’ is more of a deep rich reddish burgundy. However, the difference is indeed notable when placed next to a traditional strawberry. I usually find that the darker strawberries are sweeter, so a whole patch full of these would be heavenly! They can be grown from seed.
Red and Pink Flowering Strawberries
When I think of a strawberry blossom, the color white usually comes to mind. Some cultivars, however, have been developed because they produce flowers that come in hues of red or pink. One of my favorites is called ‘Tristan’ bearing deep rosy blossoms, ‘Tarpan,’ ‘Gasana,’ or ‘Frisan’ all bearing light pink blossoms. Some delightful more traditional varieties geared for our Zone 5 climate include ‘Ozark Beauty’ which is excellent for jam, ‘Eversweet’, or ‘Ft. Laramie’.
A most tasty unique strawberry that is often served in European fine restaurants is the strawberry called ‘Yellow Wonder’. Yes, it is a yellow berry. Because of it’s color, the birds are fooled into thinking the berries are not ripe; hence, no need for a bird net to protect your berries from the scavengers!
Western Gardens has most of these unusual strawberry plants for you to explore, but they won’t last long.