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To What Type of Plants or Fruits Are Strawberries Closely Related?

By Sarah O'Leary
The strawberry plant has many well-known close relatives, such as roses, blackberries and peaches.

The strawberry is of the genus Fragaria and a member of the Rosacea or rose family. Plants in this family can be herbaceous, or they can be trees or shrubs. Most are perennial, meaning they survive and produce flowers and fruit year after year, but some are annuals and require replanting each year. Many well known plants are in this family, and thus closely related to the strawberry plant. These include all types of rose, many other types of berry, and some fruit trees such as plum and peach.

Characteristics

Plants in the Rosacea family grow in climates ranging from temperate to tropical. Some grow wild and there are many hybrids and cultivars. They are considered to be important for their economic and ornamental value, and because many produce edible fruit. The flower parts number in five or multiples of five and the leaves can be evergreen or deciduous. Most plants in this family are fragrant.

Berries

Strawberries are closely related to many other tasty berries that are also members of the Rosacea family. Some of the more widely known ones are blackberry, raspberry, boysenberry and loganberry. Additionally, although most people are familiar with cultivated varieties of the strawberry that are found in supermarkets, the wild strawberry -- also known as "alpine strawberry" -- grows in many regions of North America, Europe and Asia. These fruits are much smaller than their cultivated relation and they are quite flavorful.

Flowers and Ornamentals

The rose plant is in the same family as the strawberry.

The most widely known flower related to the strawberry is the rose. All roses, whether wild or cultivated, are first cousins to the strawberry. The flowers that the strawberry plant produces before it bears fruit closely resembles the wild rose. Many other shrubs in the rose family produce ornamental flowers, leaves or berries. These include hawthorne, meadowsweet, antelope brush and cinquefoil.

Trees

Although it is a perennial herbaceous plant, the strawberry is related to many common tree fruits. Some are members of the genus Prunus, and these include fruits with pits, such as apricot, cherry, nectarine, plum and peach. Apple, pear and quince trees are also in the Rosacea family and thus related to the strawberry. Almond trees are another close relative, and the delicious nuts are actually a fruit.

 

About the Author

 

Sarah O'Leary has been writing professionally since 2006. Her work has appeared in "The Nation," "The Arcata Eye" and "ECONEWS," among other publications. O'Leary spent 20 years as owner/operator of Moonrise Herbs, a retail store specializing in medicinal herbs and personal growth products. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and women's studies from Humboldt State University.