The modern strawberry is the result of a hybridization of the native Virginia strawberry and a variety from South America. Today, a dizzying array of more than 600 individual varieties are available. Many of these varieties have been developed for specific growing conditions, fruit type and disease resistance, so different varieties perform best in different regions. Several varieties of strawberry plant have been developed that do well in Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states; varieties that perform in heavy soils and exhibit drought tolerance are good choices for this region.
This variety bears pinkish-red fruits in mid-season that feature a mild, sweet flavor. Plants are resistant to verticillium wilt and powdery mildew.
Another mid-season fruiter, Annapolis grows large, but produces somewhat soft berries. Individual plants produce large quantities of runners.
Delmarvel strawberries do well in a variety of different soils and have excellent disease resistance. Fruits have a bright aroma and good flavor.
Earliglow is one of the few varieties of strawberry that does exceptionally well in a wide range of growing conditions. Berries are borne early, with a deep red color. Plants are disease resistant.
Well-adapted to the eastern United States, Honeoye is well-regarded for its abundant, large fruits, which freeze well. This variety is not particularly disease resistant.
A late-season bearer, Jewel does best in warmer climates and performs well in heavy clay soils. Berries freeze well.
Red Wonder Alpine
This variety is “everbearing,” meaning it has the potential to produce fruit from spring through autumn. Red Wonder Alpine is better for the mountain regions of Virginia, as it requires nighttime temperatures below 50 degrees F to set fruit.
Redchief produces abundant large, deep-red berries that are frequently used in desserts. This variety is highly resistant to red stele, a bacterial infection that rots the shoots of new root tips.
This variety is moderately drought tolerant, but it is a vigorous strain that produces firm berries that are well suited for preserves or desserts.
Virginia Native Strawberry (Fragaria Virginiana)
One of two parent species of the garden strawberry, the Virginia native strawberry grows into a ground-covering thicket with soft, flavorful fruits. The plant is also available as a white-fruited strain.