The garden strawberry is a common plant of the genus Fragaria cultivated worldwide for its aggregate accessory fruit, the (common) strawberry. The fruit is widely appreciated, mainly for its characteristic aroma but also for its bright red color, and it is consumed in large quantities, either fresh or in prepared foods such as preserves, fruit juice, pies, ice creams, and milk shakes. Artificial strawberry aroma is also widely used in all sorts of industrialized food products.
The garden strawberry was first bred in Brittany, France, in 1740 via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America , which was noted for its flavor, and Fragaria chiloensis from Chile and Argentina brought by Amédée-François Frézier, which was noted for its large size.
Cultivars of Fragaria × ananassa have replaced, in commercial production, the woodland strawberry, which was the first strawberry species cultivated in the early 17th century.
The strawberry is, in technical terms, an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant’s ovaries (achenes) but from the receptacle that holds the ovaries. Each “seed” on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it. In both culinary and botanical terms, the entire thing is called a “fruit”.
One cup (144 g) of strawberries contains approximately 45 calories (188 kJ) and is an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids.