You may have heard that strawberries are not actually berries but nuts. We tell you why they are not berry fruits and how the small red pseudo-fruits can be classified botanically.
Are strawberries nuts – the botanical classification of the pseudo-fruit
Although for many people the strawberry is the first fruit that comes to mind when the word ‘berry’ is mentioned, strictly speaking it does not belong to the berry fruits.
– From a botanical point of view, the strawberry belongs to the perennial rose family.
– Originally, strawberries were a forest plant with rather small fruits, which only acquired their present size and shape through breeding.
– Even if the name promises otherwise, the strawberry is not a berry fruit but a so-called pseudo-fruit.
From a botanical point of view, only the small seeds that lard the strawberry are actually fruits, or more precisely, nut fruits.
– For this reason, strawberries belong to the so-called aggregate nut fruits and not to the berry fruits.
That’s why the strawberry is a collective nut fruit
The small seeds that sit on the red skin of strawberries are used by the plant for reproduction.
– Strictly speaking, the red flesh of the strawberry is not part of the fruit at all. For this reason, the strawberry is also called a pseudo-fruit.
– Instead, it belongs to the flower of the strawberry plant or, more precisely, to the flower base.
– In most cases, strawberries form hermaphrodite flowers so that the plant can pollinate itself.
– When a flower is pollinated, the lower part of the flower – called the receptacle – curves upwards.
– In the course of this, the receptacle takes on its characteristic plump shape, becomes fleshy and turns red.
– A strawberry is therefore not only not a berry, but also the flesh characteristic of the gleaned fruit is not actually a part of the fruit at all.
Real berries and false berries
In addition to strawberries, rose hips are also collectible fruits.
– Blueberries and currants, on the other hand, belong to the true berries. True berries are characterised by the fact that the seed is enclosed in the flesh of the fruit.
– Following this definition, avocados also belong to the berry fruits from a botanical point of view.
– And also tomatoes, turnips, aubergines and bananas are strictly speaking berry fruits.
– Blackberries and raspberries, on the other hand, are neither a gathering fruit nor a berry fruit. Instead, both belong to the group of aggregate fruits.