Friday, July 11, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Purple strawberries make their debut

So I was chatting up some PHS volunteers at the horticultural information booth this week. What's the strangest question you've gotten? I asked. "Purple strawberries!" Nobody'd heard of them. Same was true at Jerry's Berries, booth 728, where they're selling nothing but ever-bearing strawberry plants. They looked at me sideways when I asked.

Purple strawberries make their debut

So I was chatting up some PHS volunteers at the horticultural information booth this week. What's the strangest question you've gotten? I asked. "Purple strawberries!" Nobody'd heard of them. Same was true at Jerry's Berries, booth 728, where they're selling nothing but ever-bearing strawberry plants. They looked at me sideways when I asked.

Then yesterday I get an email from the PR people at Burpee touting - guess what - Purple Wonder, a new purple strawberry that was developed at Cornell by Courtney Weber. Burpee has the rights to market it to home gardeners, and you can see it on display at the Meadowbrook Farm store at the show. (Next to the Kaua'i Kafe.) You can also buy it there; after the show, it'll available at burpee.com.

I leave it to you to determine whether it really looks purple. Hmmm. Could be like those "blue roses" I read about that are more mauve than actual blue. Granted, this "purple" is a pretty color, but it looks more like burgandy wine to me.

Still, a lot of gardeners like novelty in their garden so perhaps strawberry lovers will go for this one. It fruits in June, gets 8-12 inches tall and spreads 10-12 inches, and I think a nice big bowl of them would look dandy on the kitchen table. Kinda says summer, doesn't it?

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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