strawberry fruits that sprout leaves

Asked June 19, 2018, 9:12 PM EDT

We have a raised bed of "Fern" strawberries. This year as the fruits formed, on many of them the small seeds on the surface of the berry sprouted little leaves. By the time they ripened, the berry was covered in small green leaves. We have never seen anything like this. Can you tell us what may have caused this? And what we can do to prevent it next year? Thank you very much for your help.

Linn County Oregon strawberries

5 Responses

Please send pictures of a typical plant with, also a close view of a berry with sprouts.

My best guess right now is that the seeds on the berry broke dormancy and then sprouted. Might change my mind after I see images.

Any chance herbicides (weedkillers) were used nearby? If so, what was it?

Thank you for responding. Hopefully my attached photo will come through for you to see. The strawberries are in a raised bed, (about 18" deep) in our backyard, with a south exposure. We have a 6' fence around the yard, and are organic gardeners. We do have a neighbor who uses a lot of chems on his lawn, but I would have thought the fence would have protected us a bit. We have used a commercial organic compost in the bed. Thank you again. Kathleen Blevins

Oh, my!

I suspect it's just one of those times when seed dormancy is broken too soon. I've seen this with a seed pod of teasel, and several times when germinated seeds are growing inside a luscious ripe tomato.

Please tell me if just one strawberry did this. Or, if other berries sprouted also, are they all on the same plant? Or is the sprouting phenom scattered throughout the bed?

After you reply, I'll consult with a plant pathologist, then report back to you.

We have 12 plants in the raised bed. All but 1 have some normal berries and some with leaves. The leaves seem to first appear when the berry is still small and green. I would say more than half of the berries on each plant are normal, with a little less with leaves. Attached is a photo of one of the plants. Thank you for your time and thoughts.

Thank you for he additional formation. I'll request an opinion from the plant pathologist, then report back to you.