Let’s Get Weird: Why Some New York Strawberries Look Like This
I did a doubletake while I was scrolling through Facebook the other day. My wife and I had started a garden at our home in Newburgh, NY and I was curious why one of our strawberry plants wasn't bearing any fruit. What I was looking at, however, didn't seem like a strawberry at all.
The Franken-berry (sorry, is that trademarked by General Mills cereal?) hardly looked like a berry at all. Covered in small leaves, the tiny fruit actually looked a little creepy. Here's what it means if your fruit starts to transform.
Plants and Fruits with Vivipary
The strawberry that I couldn't stop staring at had a condition called vivipary. While rarer in strawberries, many different plants can experience the phenomenon that's caused when a seed begins to germinate before it's shed from the plant. In the strawberry's case, the tiny seeds on the outside of the fruit are actually sprouting. It looks even weirder in a tomato (below).
Vivipary in Tomatoes
While a viviparous strawberry starts by growing leaves, tomato seeds that sprout early gives the illusion of worms attempting to escape into the sunlight. While these strawberries and tomatoes certainly don't taste better, vivipary can actually be helpful.
Depending on the plant, vivipary can help get growers started for the next season. While many farmers and gardeners harvest seeds from their crops, a viviparous plant has in effect given the growing process a "jump-start" by sprouting before the original season is even over. Check out some of the oddest examples below.