Hello, I’ve been growing two varieties of strawberry plants for quite some time (one of them is a wild strawberry variety and the other is unknown) and I noticed that the flowers of the one wild variety never seems to produce fruit and doesn’t seem to have any anthers in any of its flowers, where as the other variety has very typical strawberry flowers that have obvious anthers and readily produces strawberries often. I have read that all strawberry flowers are “perfect” flowers so should have anthers and be able to self pollinate, but the one wild variety does not self pollinate and does not have anthers- why is this? Is it a strange variety of strawberry? I’ll attach a close up picture of the flowers of the wild strawberry plant that doesn’t seem to have anthers (it’s only letting me attach one small photo for some reason but hopefully that’s enough). I picked this strawberry plant from a forest about an hour north of Toronto. I would really appreciate if you could tell me why it doesn’t have any anthers/doesn’t self pollinate and what specific variety of strawberry you think it is?
Thank you so much for your help,
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your interesting question.
The most popular type of strawberry plant that you buy today was developed by crossing the wild berries from North America ( Fragaria virginiana) with the wild South Amerian strawberry from Chile (Fragaria chiloensis). This cross has resulted in the domesticated strawberries Fragaria×ananassa.
Wild strawberries are generally dioecious, this means that each plant is either a male or female. Some plants of the species have only male reproductive organs, or stamens, while other plants of the species have only female reproductive parts or pistils.( as you noted in your photo). When plants are dioecious, you must have at least one corresponding male plant growing in or around for the fruit-bearing female plants to be pollinated. I believe that your female only plants are not being fertilized since there is not enough pollen from your horticultural species strawberries to pollinate the female flower.
Most perfect flowers can self pollinate and fertilize their own ovules, which carries certain advantages such as guaranteed reproduction. Through selection horticultural strawberries have been developed to be monoecious (having both male and female parts on the same flower). While this improves the flowers’ ability to self-pollinate, pollinators are still required to transfer the pollen from the stamens to the stigma inorder to have maximum yield.
Lastly, I must caution you on removing plants from forested area and transplanting to your garden. Not only could you be spreading seeds from invasive species, you could be spreading the newest pest- invasive jumping worm. This article by the Halton Master Gardeners gives more information on this invasive pest.