History of origin, differences between forest and garden strawberries. Description, biological features, traditions. 30 interesting facts.
Strawberries are a tasty and healthy berry that was known to the ancient Greeks, who used it to treat respiratory diseases. Now it is already impossible to establish for certain where the stunted bushes with rounded leaves and thin stalks sloping to the ground settled in the world. But it is difficult to find a person who has never eaten a sweet berry in his life, which has earned the Romans the nickname "fragrant" for its marvelous aroma. Here are 30 more interesting facts about strawberries that will definitely surprise you!
Differences between forest and garden strawberries
In the photo, forest and garden strawberries
Strawberry is a perennial herb of the Rose family. As a rule, its highly branching bush rises 10-25 cm above the ground and annually grows long shoots, which are popularly called antennae. Fixing themselves in neighboring plots, they take root, begin to form new rosettes, and the strawberries settle further, occupying new territories.
White flowers of five petals with a slightly noticeable pink or yellowish tint appear on the bushes in late May - early June, and after 30 days, sweet berries with a barely perceptible pleasant sourness ripen, in the aroma of which connoisseurs catch notes of floral honey and musk.
Note! An interesting description of strawberries with its bright aroma was left by the Russian writer Dmitry Pavlovich Zuev, who passionately loved nature: "It seems that somewhere sugar jam from a bouquet of roses, honey, apples and pineapples has boiled and evaporated."
Low-growing strawberry bushes prefer to grow in shady places, ravines, on forest edges, and therefore it is sometimes difficult to find them among other herbs. However, a picky plant can successfully settle on a meadow warmed by the sun, on the banks of the river, and in the mountains, although the work of berry growers will hardly make it easier. Remember the old Soviet cartoon "The Pipe and the Jug"? His heroine is quite understandable! Red, dark pink and cream droplets-strawberry fruits are usually hidden under the leaves and literally "sink to the ground", which is why you have to spend a lot of time and effort looking for them.
Unlike the forest berry, the garden one has quite clearly marked ancestors:
- virgin strawberries delivered to Europe from North America;
- Chilean strawberries, which once happened to be in the same garden with her.
Legend has it that as a result of accidental cross-pollination (and possibly the deliberate work of gardeners) a new plant was born, the descendants of which are now blooming in our gardens and vegetable gardens. Cultivated strawberries are distinguished by large fruits that reach a weight of 20 or even 50 g against a modest 5-6 g of wild berries and are located above the leaves, making the collection of strawberries easier.
Interesting! Garden strawberries cannot stand the beds on which tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers or cabbage grew before it, but at the same time they very favorably perceive the land given earlier to beans, garlic or parsley with dill.
The origin of the strawberry plant
In the photo, strawberries in landscape design
The real facts about strawberries are so densely intertwined with assumptions and conjectures that it is almost impossible to separate one from the other today. And yet, we will try to reveal a few secrets of the sweet beauty.
7 interesting facts about berry's travels around the world:
- Forest strawberries have been known to mankind for a long time. Archaeologists have discovered ancient fossilized remains of berries, which are more than 60 million years old.Thus, strawberries grew on our planet during the era of the dinosaurs.
- According to the first theory, the plant was brought to Europe from the New World, and thanks to the colonialists, it became very popular. Another version says that the berry is native to Southeast Asia.
- Cultivation of the culture at home began at the end of the 15th century. Until that time, only wild berries were eaten.
- Scientists made a description of strawberries in the middle of the 16th century. Today it is known that there are more than 600 plant species.
- Wild strawberries owe their appearance in Russia to the father of Peter I, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, who never missed an opportunity to settle some curiosity in his Izmailovo gardens, and to his gardener Trifon. Little Petrusha was so fond of delicacies made from sweet berries that when already adults, giving the order to send plants for propagation to Azov, he especially singled out the "strawberry root" - strawberry seedlings.
- But the first garden strawberry that came to Russia was the large-fruited Victoria, which reached us only in the 20th and gained such popularity that in some places the plant with heavy red berries is still called Victoria.
- An interesting fact about strawberries: in recent decades, they have been widely used in landscape design. For example, fluffy bushes, here and there, decorated with fiery specks of berries, look great in decorative flower beds, mixborders, successfully act as colorful borders for decorating garden paths and are extremely effective in compositions for hanging pots.
Interesting botanical description of strawberries
Did you know that strawberries are actually an impostor? Yes, yes, all these centuries she only passed herself off as a berry, in fact, having in her pedigree … a tree.
TOP-9 species characteristics of strawberries:
- In everyday life, strawberries are called berries, but we are dealing with an overgrown receptacle, that is, a false fruit. The real fruits of the plant are seeds-nuts on its surface, which are miniature in size.
- The genome of strawberries is one and a half times more complex than a human.
- The red color of strawberry fruits is provided by anthocyanin pigments, but they are not used as food colors due to their ability to react too unpredictably to the acidity of the environment. If you eat dessert with strawberry or strawberry filling, it is most likely tinted with beet-derived pigments.
- Having decomposed the aroma of strawberries into components, scientists counted about 15 volatile compounds, among which were herbs, flowers, fruits and even caramel, but most of all the researchers were struck by the smell of … rancid oil. And only in the right combination they give the same fragrant, tempting aroma.
- Strawberry flowering in the forests of central Russia lasts from mid-May to mid-July. Therefore, the collection is carried out for 2 whole months, almost all summer. Sometimes the plant bears abundant fruit even before the first frost.
- The interesting thing about strawberries is that its relative is the apple tree.
- Surprisingly, strawberries do not grow in one place for more than 5 years. She is able to migrate using her own antennae for this. Moving in this way, it will grow each time in a new area.
- A wild plant from the forest can be transplanted into your home area. Since the conditions for growing strawberries in your garden will be better, the berries will ripen larger.
- Another interesting fact about wild strawberries: they smell much more intense than garden strawberries. The fact is that in the selection process, special attention was paid to the qualities of berries that have practical benefits, such as frost resistance or size. The smell, alas, was not included in this list.
Traditions and distribution of strawberries in the world
Pictured Strawberry Museum in Vepion
Since the time when strawberries entered the everyday life of mankind, they managed not only to appreciate and love them, but also to make them the central figure of many curious customs.
8 interesting facts and unusual properties attributed to strawberries:
- In the old days, it was believed that a belt woven from the leaves of a plant would protect from a snake bite. Dry leaves hidden in a wallet will attract money, and a bunch of several stems tied with a pink ribbon will bring good luck to the house if you leave it in the hallway in front of the front door.
- Many believed: if during the collection of strawberries to be silent and think about the cherished desire, it will certainly come true.
- In Russia, there was an interesting tradition associated with strawberries. It was not accepted to eat the first berry yourself. She was treated to relatives and neighbors. They believed that the plant would not translate this way and in the future it would begin to bear fruit abundantly.
- At the Brazilian carnival, which is held annually, an interesting ceremony is arranged with strawberries. The berries are scattered around them, hoping that such actions will help increase wealth and achieve well-being.
- An interesting fact about strawberries is that they have their own unofficial capital. This is Vepion in Belgium, where the plant is grown by almost everyone and everywhere. They like to surprise foreigners with an original recipe for making ripe strawberries. It is generously sprinkled with lemon juice, sprinkled with white pepper and eaten with gusto. There is also a museum of sweet berries, where visitors are told a lot of interesting things about its origin and cultivation, shown a wonderful variety with white fruits and pineapple taste, and also offered delicious souvenirs - jams, sweets, candied fruits, strawberry liqueur and even beer.
- Another dish called "The Eton Mess" is very popular with players and visitors to the Wimbledon tournament. Strawberries, crushed and mixed with cream, are consumed here, without exaggeration, in tons - up to 27 within 2 weeks, according to statistics.
- Since 1900, the appetizing berry has been officially listed as the savior and the official symbol of the American town of Pasadena, whose residents have guessed to plant strawberries in the fields with the harvest destroyed by the hurricane and to avoid hunger.
- In case you would like to visit the strawberry museum, but you are not planning a visit to the Belgian Vepion yet, take a look at the Russian Saratov. There is also a museum of fragrant berries, which has more than 600 exhibits, contests for the best crafts are held and excursion programs with interesting facts for schoolchildren about strawberries and strawberries are regularly updated. Animation shows and berry tasting included!
Interesting properties of strawberries
Photo of strawberry face mask
Like any edible forest berry, strawberries are packed with vitamins and medicinal substances. It is not for nothing that its fruits and leaves were widely used in their practice by both unknown village healers and such pillars of ancient medicine as Hippocrates and Avicenna! However, the habit of consuming wild berries without reason and measure, of course, cannot lead to anything good.
6 useful and dangerous properties of bright strawberries:
- The fruits of the plant, regardless of the strawberry varieties, are quite strong allergens. Therefore, it is worth eating them in moderation.
- The strawberry plant has outstanding beneficial properties that have been known since ancient times, and is used in the preparation of traditional medicine. Due to the presence of substances in berries that have a similar composition to aspirin, berries can be used to combat headaches.
- Interestingly, strawberries contain copper. This mineral is known for its ability to stimulate collagen production. For this reason, the berry is good to use in the preparation of face masks that can replace expensive cream.
- Not only berries are considered useful, but also strawberry leaves, primarily due to the content of an impressive amount of ascorbic acid. It is indicated in the treatment of colds.
- The rhizomes and roots of the plant are also very beneficial.They have anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to stop blood. They are also capable of exerting a urinary and choleretic effect on the human body.
- Strawberry leaf tea is considered a powerful immune-strengthening, gastrointestinal and anti-aging agent. The main thing is not to abuse it.
Watch a video about growing garden strawberries:
And finally, it is important to remember that neither forest nor homemade strawberries can be given to children under the age of 1 year. Some of its components are too rough for the delicate stomach of babies, which can cause colic.