Botanist's Glossary

Strawberry - Fragaria chiloensis

  • Description
    • The strawberry (Rosaceae family) is a low-growing herbaceous perennial. It sends out runners that then take root and form new plants. Modern strawberry plants are the produce of a chance crossing between two species (one from North America, the other from South America) that took place in Brittany in the 17th century.
  • Traditions
    • The word Fragaria (like the word "fragrance") comes from the Latin word fragrare, meaning to "emit a pleasant smell" - an allusion to the fragrant flesh of the fruit. There are many stories about the strawberry and its benefits. Fontenelle, a reputed gourmand and writer of the 18th century, attributed his longevity to his passion for strawberries. Strawberries have excellent nutritional value and have been used in medicinal applications, although the plant is more frequently used for the astringent properties of its leaves.
  • Properties
    • In beauty products, strawberries are used for their exfoliating, moisturizing and purifying properties. Strawberries contain tannins, which makes them an effective astringent - for a more even complexion.