Visit the
Molecular Expressions Website

Galleria
Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Chip Shots
Screen Savers
Museum
Web Resources
Primer
Java Microscopy
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Publications
Custom Photos
Image Use
Contact Us
Search
Home

Reflected Light Digital Image Gallery

Wild Strawberry (Fragaria species)

When John Lennon spoke of "strawberry fields forever" he echoed the sentiments of writers since Shakespeare's Henry V of their celebration, love, and wonder of the strawberry. Strawberries, as known in today's produce markets, have been cultivated since the early 1800s when, in France, an accidental cross of a white-fruited variety from Chile and a red-fruited species from the then-colony of Virginia produced a larger, sweeter fruit.

Cherished as a supposed aphrodisiac in provincial France, a traditional soup of thinned sour cream, sugar, the herb borage, and strawberries was served to newly-weds. Native Americans made strawberry bread by crushing the wild berries with a mortar and mixing them with corn meal. Recent gene mapping research on strawberry varieties has revealed that there is a relatively shallow gene pool, representing only 53 founding clones from 17 cytoplasm sources for the world's cultivars. If this genetic base is not broadened, plant geneticists caution that inbreeding and vulnerability to stress, disease, and pests may cause significant worldwide crop losses. In the United States, 25 species of Fragaria have been identified, and are now part of the genetic holdings of the National Plant Germplasm System.

As most gardeners know, strawberries readily spread and reproduce via vegetative runners. The small berry illustrated here was taken from a wild plant growing in Tallahassee, Florida, and was not identified as either a native plant or naturalized cultivar. In Florida, commercial growing of strawberries has increased as strains that are resistant to fungal diseases have been developed by horticulturists, but the vast majority of the United States' production is from California (approximately 80 percent).

Bright red in color, strawberries are rich in vitamin C, folic acid, fiber, potassium, and phytochemicals. Strawberries contain flavonoids, anthocyanidin, ellagic acid, and other phenolic acid that possess anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant properties. Only eight medium-sized strawberries contain 96 milligrams of vitamin C, equivalent to 1.6 times the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recommended daily allowance (RDA). So remember, when biting into a slice of strawberry shortcake or enjoying some fresh strawberries with your milk and cereal, the berries not only look and taste good, they are very good for you.

Contributing Authors

Cynthia D. Kelly, Thomas J. Fellers and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.


BACK TO THE REFLECTED LIGHT IMAGE GALLERY

BACK TO THE DIGITAL IMAGE GALLERIES

Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1995-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last Modification Friday, Aug 01, 2003 at 11:43 AM
Access Count Since September 17, 2002: 8970
Visit the website of our partner in introductory microscopy education: