Thompson & Morgan breeds pink-flowered strawberry
After eight years of intensive development work, Thompson & Morgan has launched new strawberry Just Add Cream – if you don’t agree this is the best-tasting strawberry they’ve ever grown, you’ll get your money back.
Although pink-flowering strawberries are renowned for poor fruiting and flavour, this new variety brings real strawberry taste and aroma back to the garden, with productive, attractive plants that suit smaller, modern gardens.
The T&M team took existing pink-flowering types and crossed them with traditional varieties. The resulting crosses (2,000 plants each year) were then re-crossed with modern everbearing varieties in the search for the best flavour.
Just Add Cream is a compact, early-fruiting plant producing few runners in favour of more fruit – up to 1kg per plant. It will keep cropping until autumn, combining the sweetness and size of home-grown strawberries with the taste of the wild woodland or alpine strawberry. The flavour is stronger and more stable over the season than varieties with a similar aroma note, like Mara des Bois and Charlotte.
In blind taste tests, 11 different strawberry varieties, including Mara des Bois and Mieze Schindler, were trialled and given scores from one to three for texture, sweetness, juiciness and appearance – Just Add Cream was the overall winner.
Thompson & Morgan plant breeder Charles Valin said: “I set out to add flavour to the pink-flowered strawberries, but the results have been way beyond my expectations: the strong alpine strawberry aroma shocks your taste buds and takes you back to childhood memories of your very first taste of a strawberry.
“You can both smell and taste the perfume. Those that have tried it are amazed by the intensity of its aroma and flavour, and many people have actually told me it is the best strawberry they have ever tasted. The flavour is really very special.”
For tips on how to grow strawberries, visit www.thompson-morgan.com/growstrawberries
Strawberry Just Add Cream is available exclusively in the Thompson & Morgan 2017 Spring Catalogue; first mailing to customers is in December – 5 bare root plants £12.99 or 10 for £16.99.