Strawberries have reached a new aesthetic zenith.
Introduced in 1989, Fragaria 'Pink Panda' is familiar to most gardeners. The first pink ever-blooming strawberry (actually a Potentilla/Fragaria hybrid), hardy to USDA Zone 3, it was a breakthrough in its time, but the fruit is rather dry and sporadic (clever chefs can use them in ice creams and semi-freddi). A far better recent development is F. 'Viva Rosa'. A French introduction, this continuously blooming cultivar has larger pink flowers and good-sized, well-flavored fruits that can be eaten out of hand.
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Few gourmands realize that their beloved alpine strawberry has a variegated twin, Fragaria vesca 'Variegata'. This comely counterpart has white-margined foliage and comestible fruit. It is a perfect groundcover or edging plant and is hardy to USDA Zone 4.Fragaria x ananassa 'Variegata' is a bi-colored cultivar of our commercial strawberry, and fares quite well in alkaline soils. It succeeds in full sun or light shade and well-drained ground.
It may revert to plain green if the site is too fertile. Be sure to use the attractive foliage of these varieties as garnishes for strawberry mousses, bavarians, and junkets.Most gardeners relish raspberries and blackberries for pastries and desserts, while confining their errant brambles to the wayward, unsightly berry patch.
However, several exceptional, beautifully flowered, delectably fruited Rubus selections.