In Search of Midnight Berries: Myth or Reality of Black Strawberries?

Have you ever come across a picture of black strawberries and been enticed to taste some?

These berries’ exquisite shiny black color makes them almost bewitching in their beauty, but how come you have never seen them, even in the biggest grocery markets?

Well, do I have news for you? The existence of these fruits is more mythical than it is true. Want to know more about how these fruits came to be? Read on to find out more.

What Are Black Strawberries?

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The truth is that black strawberries are usually a well-constructed scam by individuals online to sell a non-existent strawberry species to unsuspecting individuals. In short, these fruits don’t exist! 

In fact, the nearest thing to a black strawberry that really exists is purple strawberries, which can sometimes pass for black if the color is deep purple. The jet-black color of strawberries online is photoshopped images of normal strawberries.

The first black strawberry was seen online about 20 years ago and was created by John Robertson for photography. The artist used a raisin and black spray paint to create the berry, and even though it raised a lot of interest online, he admitted that the picture was fake. 

Many online scammers are preying on the interest of the public in these berries and even offering black strawberry seeds. Beware not to fall for such scams!

Black strawberries are only a figment of someone else’s imagination, so don’t be beguiled by online sellers who promise such fruits. While dark purple strawberries may resemble black strawberries, they aren’t related in any way to black strawberries. Even worse news is that blue strawberries don’t exist either! 

What do Black Strawberries Taste Like?

Strawberries have a sweet strawberry taste, which is sweet and slightly sour. The level of sweetness varies, with riper strawberries being sweeter. If black strawberries existed, I’d wager they’d taste the same. 

Since black strawberries don’t exist, it’s impossible to know what they taste like. Painted strawberries are unsafe to eat, so don’t get tempted to try them.

Why Are My Strawberries Black?

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If your strawberries haven’t been colored and have a black color, it could be a sign of a fungal infection that causes the fruit to turn to this color.

Direct fungal infection will lead to strawberries developing black spots.

While fungal infections are common in strawberries, it’s difficult to detect the disease at an early stage since the infection either starts from the soil or the plant.

The primary cause of fungal infections in strawberries is excessive water or moisture. This causes the strawberry texture to change to a fragile, mushy texture, sometimes causing the fruit to be smelly.

Once the fungus reaches the strawberry fruit, the disease will spread to other berries in a short while, which may lead to widespread losses for gardeners. 

To prevent this from happening, you need to take measures to minimize the risk. When planting the strawberries, make sure the beds are well-spaced. This reduces the risk of the infection spreading to other beds if it does occur. 

Secondly, it’s important to ensure the strawberries are grown in well-drained soil. It’s also advisable to stalk the strawberries so that they don’t sit in the water or rain for too long and become waterlogged. 

To prevent the plant from becoming waterlogged, you can cover it with straw mulch.

Mulching your plants prevents them from being waterlogged, helps them maintain moisture and protects them from damage. Another effective way to prevent your strawberries from being attacked by fungus is growing them in a greenhouse. 

If, unfortunately, rotting has already started in your plants, the strawberries will turn brown and eventually black. Some berries may even develop a slime-like substance. Remove any affected berries from the plant and, if possible, isolate the plant from others. If the rotting persists, the best solution will be to use a fungicide. 

Other Colors of Strawberries

There are four primary colors of strawberries: white, yellow, red, and purple. The fruits are oval-looking with broad shoulders and narrow towards the bottom. The fruit’s flesh is dotted with achenes or seeds on the outside. Each variety has a different legend behind it.

Here is a closer look at these strawberry varieties.

White Strawberries

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These strawberries belong to the Rosaceae family under the Fragaria genus. White strawberries have many varieties, including the Pineapple, Albicarpa, White Soul, and White Delight. White berries are common and can be found in different regions worldwide. 

These berries are snow white with deep and red achenes or seeds. 

The lack of pigmentation in the berries is due to the lack of the protein fragaria allergen or Fra a1. This protein is instrumental in ripening strawberries, where small green strawberries turn white, yellow, pink, and eventually ripen to red. 

Since white strawberries don’t contain this protein, they don’t turn in color even when they ripen. However, the upside to all this is that Fra a1 is the allergenic compound in berries, so its absence means that eating white strawberries should do you no harm if you are allergic to strawberries.

White strawberries are rich in antioxidants and are sweeter than red strawberries. Other benefits the berries are rumored to have is the ability to improve the immune system and reduce stress and inflammation. Some people even suggest that white strawberries are a remedy for hangovers, but we have yet to test this theory. 

The main downside to these strawberries is they’re a bit expensive compared to other berries. White strawberries are extremely popular in Japan, but they’re continually becoming more readily available around the world. 

Yellow Strawberries 

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Yellow strawberries are one of the rarest and tastiest strawberries in the world. These sun-kissed fruits are delicate and fragrant, and you’re only likely to find them in the finest restaurants unless you grow them yourself. 

Since this variety of strawberries is a bush type, it doesn’t spread, and you can easily grow one in a container. One of the most famous varieties of yellow strawberry is the pineberry, which has a pineapple taste and is grown in Africa. 

Red Strawberries 

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This is the most common strawberry variety. Red strawberries are the most dominant genus, making them widely available. The planting and propagation methods of these Strawberries depend on the climatic conditions of your area.

Alpine Fresca, also known as the Alpine strawberry, is one of the most common red strawberries. This variety grows in clumps, and they don’t vine; hence, they can easily be grown in a home garden. Tasting them will leave your taste buds wanting for more. 

Purple Strawberries 

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It may seem unnatural for strawberries to be purple, but not to worry; these strawberries aren’t genetically modified. Purple strawberries were first naturally cultivated at Cornell University. Like yellow strawberries, they’re ideal for potting since they’re bushy, sweet, and fragrant but not great runners. 

Purple strawberries are the nearest we can come to black strawberries when they develop a dark purple color. However, remember that black strawberries don’t exist (unless they are painted).

Even though purple strawberries may develop a dark pigmentation, they’ll never be jet-black, as seen in misleading pictures online. While the color of these strawberries will vary from pale purple to burgundy, it’s important to note that the plant’s color may differ from that of the parent plant. 

Even though it’s tempting to try growing these strawberries, their seeds aren’t commercially available. The only variety you may be lucky to find online is the purple wonder.

Seed Scammers

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We all would wish to have an exotic plant, and if black strawberries were real, I would want to grow some, too. Unfortunately, they are just a myth. 

Many scammers prey on unsuspecting gardeners by offering seeds for these strawberries and using edited pictures or painted strawberries. Apart from black strawberries, scammers may also offer brown and green strawberries. These scams are usually supported by pictures of supposedly successfully grown and harvested strawberries. 

These are mythical species of strawberries, and, sadly, one of the downsides of the internet. 

People tend to fall for these scams not only because of the promise of a unique plant but also because strawberries take a long time to mature. However, by the time you discover the scam, it’s too late. 

Additionally, since we have blackberries, blueberries, cherries, gooseberries, raspberries, and all sorts of berry colors, people are convinced that black strawberries may exist.

In plant science, crossbreds emerge all the time, and it isn’t a far-fetched idea to think someone may have experimented and created black strawberries, but they’re yet to be invented.

Seeds scams have become more rampant as victims rarely report the crimes, and large retailing websites rarely follow up on these crimes. Also, many people don’t want to publicize that they have been conned.

Of course, there are legitimate websites where you can buy real strawberry seeds. Make sure you verify a website’s validity before making a purchase.

Most legitimate sites will offer white, yellow, and red strawberries, as purple strawberries are hard to come by. If a seller purports to sell other varieties of strawberries, beware! You may be on the verge of being conned!

Summing Up 

So, do black strawberries exist? The short answer is no. As much as we would want to try one, black strawberries are just a fantasy, and so are blue strawberries.

Strawberries only come in red, yellow, white, and purple colors.

So don’t get fooled by scammers online looking to make the most out of unsuspecting buyers. No matter how delicious and tantalizing the strawberry may look, it’s a ploy to deprive you of your hard-earned money if it’s not among the four colors. 

Don’t let someone sell you an imaginary strawberry species!

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Leyla M

Leyla M. is a master home decorator, home improvement specialist and journalist with more than 20 years of experience with various home decor projects and remodeling. Her passion is making everyone's house a dream house. A place where all your dreams can come true. EXPERTISE: Home Improvement, Home Decor, Interior Painting, LOCATION: New York, USA TITLE: Master Editor FOLLOW LEYLA on Facebook