Strawberries have been around for thousands of years. Two ancient species of strawberries are still know to exist. The woodland strawberry(Fragaria vesca) which is characterized by small, aromatic berries and the alpine strawberries(Fragaria montana fraga) with it small very tasty yellow or red berries. Alpine strawberries are a day neutral strawberry that can be grown in full sun or partial shade. They are also long lived and will continue to produce fruit all summer if well watered.
The modern strawberry(Fragaria x ananassa) is a cross between the Virginia starwberry(Fragaria virginiana) and the Chilean strawberry(Fragaria chiloensis). The modern strawberry has large, sweet berries. The choose of the cultivar will depend upon several factors including climate, flavor, firminess, disease resistance, and ripening times. Climate is very important because productivity, frost tolerance, and ripening times varied from cultivar to cultivar depending upon the climatic conditions. Strawberries vary in taste from tart to very sweet. While a tart strawberry may be fine in pies or jams it will not be as tasty if fresh eaten. Firminess besides affecting how the strawberry is used, also affects how long the strawberry will last or if it can be shipped to distance markets.
Disease tolerance varies from cultivar to cultivar and a choice of a cultivar will depend upon if that disease is a problem in your area. Ripening times affect when the fruit will be available for picking. This will vary from cultivar to cultivar and also whether the strawberries are June bearers, Day neutral bearers, or Everbearers. The June bearers will produce one large crop in the summer. Day neutral strawberries will produce strawberries throughout the summer months though they normally have a large crop in the spring.
Production is lower during the hottest months of the summer with a somewhat larger crop in the fall. Everbearers produce two crops, one in June and another in the fall. In determing what varieties to grow, it is a good idea to check with your local extension office or mursery. Below is a list of some cultivars based upon what region they will grow in. Cardinal-June Bearer-large firm average tasting strawberry-Midseason-Susceptible to red stele and verticillium wilt but resistant to leaf spot and leaf scorch.
Sequoia-June Bearer-Very large soft very sweet berry-Early season-Susceptible to both red stele and verticillium wilt but resistant to viruses. Oso Grande-June Bearer-Very large firm berry with a good taste-Early midseason- suseptible to red stele and verticillium wilt but virus tolerant. Dover-June Bearer-large medium firm berry with a good taste-early season-susceptible to red stele but resistant to leaf scorch and verticillium wilt.
Allstar-June Bearer-large firm not very tasty berry-late midseason berry- resistant to leaf scorch and red stele. Atlas-June Bearer-Very large firm berry with a good taste-Early season-susceptible to red stele, intermediate resistant to verticillium wilt, resistant to leaf spot, and very resistant to leaf scorch.
Redchief-June bearer-large firm sweet berry-early midseason-intermediate resistant to verticillium wilt and resistant to leaf spot, leaf scorch, and red stele. Surecrop-June Bearer-large firm sweet berry-early midseason-resistant to very resistant for most diseases.
Fern-Day neutral-large firm sweet berry- suseptible to red stele with intermediate resistance to verticillium wilt. Tribute-Day neutral-medium to large size firm somewhat tart berry-resistant to red stele and verticillium wilt.
Tristar-Day neutral-small to medium sized firm berry with an excellent sweet flavor-resistant to red stele an verticllium wilt. Badgerbelle-June Bearer-large soft fair tasting strawberry-late season-Susceptible to red stele and leaf scorch but resistant to leaf spot.
Guardian-June Bearer-medium sized medium firm good tasting berry-midseason-resistant to very resistant for most diseases. Honoeye-June Bearer-large firm good tasting berry-Early midseason-Susceptible to red stele but resistant to leaf scorch, leaf spot, and verticillim wilt. Midway-June bearer-large firm good tasting berry.-Late midseason-Very susceptible to leaf spot, susceptible to leaf scorch, intermediate resistance to verticillium wilt but resistance to red stele.
Redcoat-June Bearer-medium sized, medium firminess with only a fair taste-Early midseason-Susceptible to red stele and verticillium wilt but resistant to leaf spot. Sparkle-June Bearer-small soft berry with a very good taste-Late Midseason-Susceptible to to leaf spot, viruses, and verticillium wilt, intermediate resistance to leaf scorch and resistant to red stele.
Veestar-June bearer-medium sized soft berry with a very good taste-Early season- Susceptible to red stele and leaf scorch but resistant to verticllium wilt and leaf spot. Ozark Beauty-Ever bearer-large, medium firm berry with a sweet taste-Susceptible to red stele and verticillium wilt.
Quinault-Ever Bearer-Large medium firm sweet berry-Intermediate resistance to verticillium wilt and resistant to red stele. Lester-June Bearer-medium large firm good tasting berry-Early midaseason-Susceptible to verticllium wilt but resistant to red stele and scorch. Lateglow-June Bearer-large mediumly firm good tasting berry-late season-tolerant to leaf spot and leaf scorch and resistant to red stele and verticillium wilt.
Totem-June Bearer-Large firm good tsting berry-late season-Intermediate resistance to leaf scorch, resistant to leaf spot, red stele, verticillium wilt and tolerant to viruses. Benton-June Bearer-Large soft very good tasting berry-late season-resistant to red stele and tolerant to viruses.
Hood-June Bearer-large medium firm very good tasting berry-Early midseason-Resistant to most diseases. Shuksan-June Bearer-Large firm sweet berry- Midseason-Intermediate resistant to viruses and resitant to red stele and verticillium wilt.
Rainer-June Bearer-large mediumly firm berry with a very good taste-Late midseason- resistant to red stele and verticllium wilt and tolerant of viruses. Tillikum-Day Neutral-small to medium sized firm berry with a slightly tart taste- Susceptible to verticllium wilt and intermediate tolerant to red stele.
Pajaro-June Bearer-large very firm berry with a good taste-midseason-Susceptible to red stele and verticllium wilt, resistant to leaf scorch and tolerant of viruses.