The strawberry is a small plant of the Rosaceae (Rose) family. All varieties of the strawberry plant belong to the Fragaria genus.
Strawberry plants can be planted in any garden soil. But the richer the soil, the larger the crop. The plant grows best in a cool, moist climate and does not do well in warm temperatures. Queensland strawberries are planted in March/April (Autumn)
The strawberry grows close to the ground on the stem in groups of three. The greenish white fruits turn to a rich red colour when they ripen. When the strawberry ripens, the petals of the flower fall off and all that remains is the calyx, a leafy substance shaped like a star. Not every flower produces fruit.
Strawberries are not really berries or fruit in the “botanical” sense (i.e., the end result of a fertilized plant ovum). A strawberry is actually an “aggregate fruit” — the “real” fruit are the objects we think of as the “strawberry seed” — properly called “achenes” — which are fruits in the same way that a raw sunflower seed with it’s tough shell is a fruit. The “berry” is actually an “enlarged receptacle” and is not reproductive material. As a result, strawberries must be picked at full ripeness, as they cannot not ripen once picked.
The strawberry plant has seeds on the outside skin rather than having an outer skin around the seed, as most berries do. They do not however, normally reproduce by seeds. When the fruit is developing, the plant sends out slender growths called runners. These look like strings. They grow on the ground and send out roots in the soil. The roots produce new plants which grow and bear fruit. Sometimes these plants are taken from the soil and replanted to start a new plantation of strawberry plants.