pineberry plant
pineberry, pineapple and strawberry

Pineberry plant

Pineberry “Natural Albino®

The pineberry is a white strawberry with red seeds. The Pineberry is actually an old strawberry variety. Originally, strawberries were white in South America and red in North America (known as scarlets). Spontaneous crossings between the Chilean white strawberry and the North American scarlets produced Fragaria x Ananassa, which is the base material for all the common strawberry varieties we have today.

 

Pineberry in short

  • First pineberry originated around 1750 when the white strawberry from South America (Chiloensis) and the red strawberry from North America (Virginia) spontaneously crossed
  • Early 21st century the pineberry was recreated in The Netherlands by Dutch breeder Hans de Jongh using natural breeding techniques
  • Pineberry differs from the ordinary red strawberry in size, taste, gender and firmness
  • The pineberry plant needs cross-pollination to grow berries
  • A ripe pineberry is round, white with a slight pink blush and red seeds
  • Planting different red varieties with the pineberry will make sure you get pineberries and the longest strawberry season in your garden
  • Another unique strawberry is the strasberry, also available via Berries@Home®
  • The yield of a pineberry plant is less than the average red strawberry
  • For inspirational Pineberry recipes, visit the recipe section of our website or visit the Berries@Home Pinterest boards

 

Do you have a bit more time?  Read on for more detailed information on the pineberry.

 

Pineberry origin

Sometimes people wonder if the albino strawberry is a real strawberry and if its origin occurred naturally. To answer this question, we have to go back in time….to the year 1750.

In the 17th century a sailor returning from North America brought with him the very first strawberry plants to Europe, the red scarlets. One century later, around 1750, in the same way, another special white strawberry (Chiloensis) was brought back from Chile  to Europe. These two strawberry species spontaneously crossed and created a new strawberry variety, the mother of all modern strawberries; Fragaria x Ananassa.

The white seedlings of this strawberry were not developed commercially, but the red ones turned out to be the basis of the red strawberry varieties we currently buy in our supermarkets.

The answer is yes, the pineberry is a 100% real strawberry and it first occurred spontaneously.

 

The modern pineberry is Dutch

In the early 21st century Dutch breeder Hans de Jongh, passionate about special strawberries, recreated the pineberry which resulted in the current version of the white Fragaria x Ananassa; the pineberry “Beekers Berries Natural Albino” or “Natural Albino” for short.

The name pineberry originated from the fresh-sweet taste of this white strawberry which reminded people of pineapple. Also the green stem was a reminder of the pineapple to people. The Latin name for most strawberries is Fragaria x Ananassa, in which Ananassa means pineapple (Ananas in Dutch or German). The name pineberry is not a newly invented marketing name, but indeed a very old original name.

 

Pineberry vs. Strawberry

What are the main differences between the “ordinary” red strawberry and the pineberry?

 

pineberry

"ordinary" red strawberry

Small delicate fruit Big(ger) firm fruit
White flesh with red seeds Red flesh with yellow seeds
Typical fresh-sweet pineapple taste Sweet traditional strawberry taste
Feminine plant - needs cross-pollination Self pollinating plant
Average harvest per plant = 100 grams Average harvest per plant = 500 grams

 

Cross-pollination of the pineberry

Unlike the red varieties, the albino pineberry cannot pollinate itself as it is a female plant. To ensure this strawberry plant is pollinated, an insect is needed (e.g. a bumblebee or a bee). The insect must visit the self pollinating strawberry plants and carry its pollen to the pineberry flower. This is how, entirely naturally, the pineberry gets pollinated and pineberries can start to grow.

 

Special 3-pack

Some Berries@Home® pineberry plants are offered in a tri-pack. This package offers you one pineberry and two red strawberries, this to eliminate the stress of finding your own self pollinating strawberry plant. In case you buy the pineberry separately do not forget to plant this next to red strawberries that bloom around the same time. We advise two red strawberry plants next to one pineberry plant.

 

The Berries@Home® product range offers the following strawberries for pollination:

 

Recognising ripe pineberries

When red strawberries are ripe, it is easy to see. First the strawberry is green, then turns white and ends as a beautiful red strawberry.

But how do you recognize a ripe pineberry? The pineberry starts as a white berry with green seeds. The berry gets rounder and the seeds start to turn red. When the pineberry gets a light pink blush, it is ripe enough to eat. Carefully pick the pineberry as this berry is much more delicate than the average red strawberry. You might want to use a pair of scissors.

 

Strawberry fields forever?

The pineberry plant is a so-called junebearer. This means that pineberries can be harvested mainly in May and June (in Northern European countries). Would you like to pick strawberries from your garden for longer? If so, then Berries@Home® advises you to plant different strawberry varieties. Below is an overview of the Berries@Home® varieties available and their harvest time.

 

Strawberry variety

May June July

Aug

Sep

Pineberry

 

 

 

Strasberry

 

 

 

Sweet Eve

 

 

Eve’s Delight

 

 

Lambada

 

 

 

Elsanta

 

 

 

 

Be aware that even within the junebearer and everbearer, varieties there can be a week or more difference in harvest time. Planting different varieties ensures you can harvest your strawberries for the longest period possible, starting around mid May and ending mid September (depending on weather conditions of course).

 

More unique and different strawberry varieties

The strasberry is another unique strawberry within the Berries@Home® selection. This strawberry has a strong aroma and the looks of a raspberry, while being a 100% strawberry. In addition to the pineberry and the strasberry, our Berries@Home® selection also has two exclusive British strawberry varieties; Sweet Eve and Eves Delight. These varieties originate from a British breeding program.

 

Pineberry yield

Although yield of the pineberry plant is not high, its taste and looks are exceptional. The “Natural Albino” berries are smaller and more delicate than the average red strawberry. The yield of one pineberry plant is between 50 and 100 gram.

 

Pineberry recipes

Need inspiration on how to eat your berries besides picking them straight from the punnet?  Check out our recipes or visit our Pinterest boards for more inspiration. Although the pineberry yield is not big, the admiration you will get with your pineberry recipes will be exceptional. Would you like to share your own special Pineberry recipe with us? Please send it to us using the contact form.