Why are wild strawberries so small?

I have loads of wild strawberry plants around the house. The fruit is delicious - but so tiny at the ripe stage and they take ages to wash.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining - they are free, organic and heavenly to eat. By far the tastiest strawberries I’ve ever eaten.

Does their size add to their tastiness ?

The photo is of a wild strawberry - seconds before I ate it !

Answer #1

I think I failed to load the photo the first time !

Answer #2

Because wild strawberries are that cool.

Answer #3

I have always wondered the same thing, I have a whole bunch of them in my yard

Answer #4

. Evolution by natural selection ensures that the wild forms of plants are optimized to the niche environment in which they originated, thus giving greatest chance of propagation (self replication / reproduction).
. As far as I am aware, strawberries evolved in an alpine environment where they grow in small pockets of fertile soil. They have the seeds on the outer surface of the fruit, and have no advantage in making small numbers of large fruits, but do have an advantage in creating larger numbers of small fruits thus maximizing the number of seeds that are distributed by the creatures that ate the fruits. . Humans, however want the larger fruits, and in order to obtain them, use non-natural selection methods ( similar to “selective breeding” of animals ) to enhance the features we desire for our own purposes. . The same occurs in pretty well all domesticated animals, and food crops: . Compare wild grass seeds with those on cultivated cereal crops like wheat and barley - the seeds on the cultivated crops are (by comparison) enormous because, over long periods of time, they have been consistently selected for fertilization using strains that have the desirable characteristics of size, flavour and resistance to diseases and pests etc.. . Many generations of strawberry plants have been consistently and preferentially selected to propagate from plants that had larger fruits, while rejecting the plants with slightly smaller fruits. Thus the cultivated varieties have fruits that have been consistently increasing in size etc.. . As to why the smaller fruits have more flavour, well they are small because they have absorbed less water. Bigger fruits contain more water thus diluting the flavour. You may prefer the smaller more tasty wild berries, but the commercial growers go for greater bulk as they are primarily sold by weight. . The sellers want to market thousands of punnets of fairly tasty large fruits rather than dozens of punnets of very tasty small fruits. .

– Best wishes - Majikthise. .

Answer #5

Yeah ! They are….

Answer #6

Great answer - I enjoyed reading that and I enjoyed my bowl of wild strawberries eve more tonight.

I’m from Manchester too, by the way . . .

Answer #7

How do you eat yours ?

Sometimes they are so small that I mash mine with a little natural yoghurt

Answer #8

When we were children, my brother decided to cultivate strawberries in the garden. He did very well, watering and weeding. They were growing great.

One day, my mother caught my brother picking off the flower heads, “Why are you doing that?” she asked “To make them grow faster” was the serious reply

He is now 54 and we still tease him about it.

Sorry for going off topic, your question brought back that memory.

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