Have you ever bitten into a juicy strawberry and noticed those small white dots on the outside? These seemingly harmless dots have recently left many strawberry enthusiasts mind-blown after discovering their true identity. Let’s unravel the mystery behind those white dots and explore their significance.
People Mind-Blown After Discovering What the White Dots on Strawberries Are
Many people are just finding out that, in fact, the white dots on strawberries are not seeds, as many of us thought. In fact, they are called achenes – small fruit-producing structures that are commonly mistaken for seeds. Achenes are present in various flowering species, including strawberries, buckwheat, and even cannabis. (1)
“First off, strawberries don’t keep their seeds outside their fruit. Those things we think of as strawberry seeds aren’t seeds – and the big, red strawberry “fruit” isn’t technically a fruit,” wrote North Carolina State University. “In “true” fruits, like peaches, a flower is pollinated and then the flower’s ovary swells and becomes the fruit, with the seed or seeds in the middle.” (2)
NCSU went on to say: “The ripe, red, fleshy part that we think of as the strawberry “fruit” is actually swollen receptacle tissue – the part of the plant that connected the flower to the stem. When a strawberry flower is pollinated, it triggers the receptacle tissue to grow and change.”
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The Role of Achenes
Contrary to popular belief, achenes are not involved in the reproduction of strawberry plants. Instead, strawberries grow through the process of sending out runners. These runners act as small strawberry clones, taking root and growing into new plants when they touch the ground. This efficient method enables strawberries to spread and reproduce.
Intriguingly, strawberries are not even classified as berries. They are, in fact, aggregate fruits consisting of a number of smaller fruits grouped together. This unique characteristic and the presence of achenes on the outside have often bewildered people.
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Although the exact reason behind strawberries developing in this particular way is not fully understood, Chris Gunter, an associate professor of horticultural science at NC State, provides some insights. Gunter suggests that fruits evolve to attract creatures that aid in seed dispersal or find means of dispersal themselves. For example, some fruits are carried by wind or water.
The Truth About Strawberries
The discovery that the white dots on strawberries are achenes and not seeds has left many people mind-blown. The intriguing nature of strawberries as aggregate fruits, along with their unique method of reproduction through runners, adds to the wonder and fascination surrounding these delicious fruits.
Next time you bite into a strawberry, take a moment to appreciate the intricate wonders hidden beneath its surface. The white dots may seem insignificant, but they are a testament to the beautiful complexities of nature. So, let curiosity guide you as you explore the world of fruits and uncover the secrets they hide.
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- “Sorry, What – The Specks On Strawberries Aren’t Actually Seeds.” Huffington Post. Amy Glover. July 25, 2023.
- “Why Do Strawberries Have Their Seeds on the Outside?” NCSU. Matt Shipman. My 10, 2016.