Strawberries are grown all over Australia

Australia has many different climatic zones and there are varieties of strawberries which suit some better than others.  The multitude of varieties of strawberry now available to Australian strawberry growers means that there are high quality commercial yielding options for all major growing regions, with more in continual breeeding development.

Using the statutory levy and funds from the Australian Government, Hort Innovation is investing in a continual breeding program designed to breed varities that are ideal for the different growing regions.  Once a new variety has been identifed and stabilised, the variety goes through a program to protect the intellectual property contained in the hard work needed to breed it in the first place.  This protection is known as Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and operates a little like the patent system that you may be more familiar with. Once a variety has completed the program and is covered by PBR, it can only be propagated or planted under licence from the owner of the PBR.

Varieties currently grown in Australia

To the untrained eye, a strawberry is just a strawberry, but there are subtle differences in the structure, shape and size between the varieties.  Here are just a small selection of the many varieties currently being grown in Australia.

ALBION

Originally bred by the University of California, this is the most commonly planted variety in Victoria.  It typically has long, conical, symmetrical and firm fruit bursting with sweetness.  It is what is known as a day-neutral variety, meaning that it flowers regardless of the amount of daylight it receives.

SAN ANDREAS

San Andreas is another day-neutral variety from California and it produces high quality fruit early in the season. The berries are slightly lighter in colour than Albion, but it has a very similar flavour profile to Albion.

JULIETTE

Juliette is a locally bred variety and is high yielding producing sweet, large, rich red coloured, conical shaped strawberry fruit.  This variety was the result of the Victorian Department of Primary Industries strawberry breeding program.

RED RHAPSODY

This deep red variety is one of many produced by the latest strawberry breeding programme based in Queensland and managed by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF).  The external skin is a super rich and deep red colour with a softer red interior.  Bred to suit the winter growing conditions found in south east Queensland, Red Rhapsody is very high yielding variety and is widely grown in the winter season.

SUNDRENCH

Another product of the QDAF breeding programme, Sundrench is similar to Red Rhapsody with a deep red exterior.  The fruit is typically large and firm, and the plant produces fruit early in the winter season. With a medium to high yield, this PBR variety is becoming more widely grown as the availability of runner stock increases.

SUNCOAST DELIGHT

Suncoast Delight is a distinct vigorous upright style plant with the flowers pushing out through the canopy of the foliage.  A consistent producer of large conical fruit that can feature white shoulders in cold weather.  This variety is believed to have moderate resistance to some of the more common issues like fusarium and charcoal rot.