UoN The Hidden Half: Alpine Strawberry
From Brian Atkinson
Wild alpine strawberry, Fragaria vesca, is one of 20 different strawberry species. The most common strawberry found in the supermarket is a cross between two species, fragaria and ananassa, and called garden strawberry. The alpine strawberry was cultivated widely across Europe and the Far East but has mainly been replaced by the much larger garden strawberry. The strawberry is technically not a berry as the fleshy part is not derived from the plants ovaries. The small achene, which look like seeds stuck on the outside of the strawberry, are actually fruits.
The strawberry's root system is built from one main tap root and many branches that form from it. This root system clearly displays how some roots respond differently to gravity. The main tap root grows directly down, to reach deep wetter soil, whilst the secondary branches grow horizontally, to look for nutrient spread across the soil.