Juicy red, aromatically sweet and full of vitamin C: These are strawberries (Fragaria). Already the ancient Greeks chose them as the “queens of fruits”. What many do not know, however: In reality, the strawberry itself is a pseudo-fruit, consisting of many tiny nut fruits. Here is why, from a botanical point of view, the strawberry is actually a nut.
Why is the strawberry actually a nut?
It looks like a berry, tastes like a berry and even bears this designation in its name – yet botanically speaking, the strawberry is not a berry, but rather an aggregate accessory fruit. The strawberry itself is only a pseudo-fruit. The actual fruits are the yellow-green tiny nutlets, or seeds, which sit all around the high-domed flower base.
The botanical background: This is why the strawberry is a nut
To understand why the strawberry is a pseudo-fruit, it is necessary to take a closer look at the botany of the plant, which belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae). Strawberries are perennial plants that belong to perennials because of the way they live. The three- to five-petaled, rich green leaves stand in a rosette. After a cold stimulus, umbels with small white flowers appear from their center. Most often strawberries form hermaphroditic flowers, the pollen of which can fertilize the stigmas of the same plant.
In the case of pollinated stigmas and fertilized seed plants, the aromatic fruits develop within a few weeks. In the course of this, the flower base bulges strongly upwards, becomes fleshy and juicy-red. It represents the red fruit part, the pseudo-fruit, so to speak. The actual fruits of the strawberry are the yellow-green seeds (nutlets), which are distributed on the surface. Therefore, from a botanical point of view, the strawberry is a nuts fruit, and that is why it does not contain a seed inside.
Botanically speaking, berries are fruits whose seeds lie in the pulp. Each individual nut of the strawberry is thus a fruit through which the plant can reproduce.
By the way, raspberries and blackberries are also often called berries, but strictly speaking this is not true. They are collective drupes, which are composed of many stone fruits.