In January, 1990, a team of U.S. and Chilean scientists collected native and cultivated Fragaria from central and southern Chile. During the course of this expedition, 363 new accessions of Fragaria were collected. Approximately 2,500 plants of 250 clones were collected from 66 sites in 19 different areas, and 113 seedlots (estimated at over 100,000 seeds) were obtained.
Plants were collected from a wide range of habitats, and considerable variability was observed in vegetative and reproductive characteristics. Fruit were round to conical in shape, deep red to white in color, soft to moderately firm, with soluble solids ranging from 5-18%, dull to glossy skin, bland to strong flavor, low to very high aromatics, and difficult to moderately easy capping. Fruit size in situ approached 4 g, while fruit larger than 12 g were found under cultivated conditions. Strawberry aphids (Chaetosiphon fragaefolii) were found on plants in situ and under cultivation. Little or no evidence of other pests were observed on clones collected in situ.
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