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Strawberry (lat. Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) is the most important strawberry fruit species for several reasons: it is easily propagated by cuttings, it bears fruit early (most often in the first year after planting), it ripens early (as early as May) when the market is poorly supplied with fresh fruit, gives very high quality fruits that can be used for different purposes. Also, strawberry quickly returns the invested funds in production and is a very profitable fruit species, especially if it is grown in a modern way near big cities.

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It is a perennial herbaceous and bushy plant that lives from five to six years. In intensive cultivation, it is recommended to plant a new plantation after two to three years, because the quantity and quality of the fruits decreases after the second year. In plant systematics, it belongs to the family Rosaceae (roses). To date, 47 types of strawberries have been described, but the most important are 12 of them, which are classified into 4 groups according to the number of chromosomes:

  • diploid species (2n=2x=14): Fragaria vesca L. (forest strawberry), F. viridis Duch., F. nilgerrensis Schlect, F. daltoniana J. Gay, F. nubicola Lindl. ex Lacaita
  • tetraploid species (2n=4x=28): F. moupinensis Card., F. orientalis Losink
  • hexaploid species (2n=6x=42): F. moschata Duch.
  • octaploid species (2n=8x=56): F. virginiana Duch. (Virginia strawberry), F. chiloensis Duch. (Chilean strawberry), F. ovalis Rydb. (oval strawberry), Fragaria × ananassa Duch. (garden strawberry)
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The garden strawberry was created by crossing the Chilean and Virginia strawberries – two geographically distant and polymorphic, octaploid species, and thanks to this distant hybridization, the garden strawberry is characterized by its adaptability to very different ecological conditions. For this reason, the garden strawberry can be found cultivated from the subtropics through areas with a moderate continental climate all the way to the southern border of the Arctic in the north. However, it should be kept in mind that many varieties are linked to the place of origin and stand out for their narrow ecological valence, so they can be successfully grown only in certain eco-environments.

In Croatia, strawberries are grown, with more or less success, in all regions.

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