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What Are Those Tiny Dots on the outside of a Strawberry?

Most of us have wondered about those tiny dots on the outside of a strawberry. With a closer look, the tiny dots appear to be seeds. But it turns out that those "seeds" are not what they seem -- they are actually small, dry fruits known as achenes, and each achene contains a single seed inside.

When a strawberry flower is pollinated, it forms numerous small fruits. The receptacle tissue swells and forms the red flesh of the strawberry -- which we erroneously call the "fruit." In reality, each "seed" we see on the outside of a strawberry actually represents an individual fruit making up the whole. Strawberries are fairly unique, because with most fruits, when the fruit flower is pollinated, the ovary swells and makes a fruit with a seed inside.

More about strawberries:

  • Strawberries belong to the Rosaceae family, which includes other fruits such as apples, cherries, and peaches.
  • Eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than a medium-sized orange. Strawberries also contain vitamin B6, vitamin K, folic acid, and potassium.
  • California grows 2 billion pounds of strawberries per year, comprising 80% of all strawberries grown in the United States.
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