The word “pineberry” is a fusion of the words “pineapple” and “strawberry” and refers to a relatively new pale pink or pale orange to white strawberry cultivar that is adorned with red achenes (strawberry seeds). Like the modern Garden Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa), the pineberry is a hybrid of the wild South American strawberry Fragaria chiloensis, which grows wild in some parts of Chile, and the North American strawberry Fragaria virginiana. The pineberry fruit is the result of cross-breeding, not genetic engineering as has been claimed by some.
In fact, the specific strawberry variety whose genetics contribute to the striking appearance of the pineberry was “rescued” by a group of Dutch farmers. They discovered the source material in France. They did not find and rescue the pineberry from extinction in the wilds of Chile, as some have claimed. After six years of plant selection and cultivation, the plant vigor and quality of the pineberry plants was improved, and the decision to begin growing them for commercial production was made.
The fruit produced by pineberry plants is very aromatic and has flavor that most say is reminiscent of pineapple while retaining the texture and feel of a strawberry. The pineberry, or pineapple strawberry, is more of a novelty at present. They are produced on a very small scale in Europe and Belize and are not very profitable due to the small size of the pineberries (large pineberries are less than an inch [2.54 cm] big) and the low yield of pineberry plants.
In the United States, just about every home gardener cuts his or her teeth with tomatoes and peppers when entering into the world of gardening for the first time. And, for years afterward, those plants yield bountifully and are a productive stable. For those gardeners who are ready to branch out, I have a suggestion. Why not try planting pineberries this year?
Pineberry plants are not new, but they are new to most gardeners. They have increased in popularity over the last several years since they were first sold in the UK commercially on a limited basis. Now, these pineberry plants are readily available (click the links below). What makes them special isn’t their huge fruits or their enormous harvests, but the unique flavor and aroma. They have natural pineapple accents!
So, if you have a spare square foot in your garden this year, you may want to consider planting pineberries, the suppliers of plants are linked from that page and can be found here: Pineberry. And, if you are into unique garden plants, don’t miss all the other varieties of White Strawberries available to you!