Alpine Strawberry

Alpine Strawberries

Seedlings, seeds from Trade Winds Fruit, sprouted Winter 2016 / Spring 2017

DIED SUMMER 2018: Summer 2018 was especially brutal. Growth kept getting fried back in June and by late July they were dead.

Varieties: Mingonette, Yellow Wonder, unknowns.

Growing strawberries in Phoenix is generally an exercise in frustration. The typical growing experience goes something like this:

In March you go to Home Depot, you see a 6-pack of strawberries and you think: "maybe it will be different this year". You buy and plant. They grow fine through March and April. And by May when they start making fruit and runners, the temps get to 95+ and they croak. Repeat next year.

Sometimes you buy bareroot strawberries and they do a little better.

But after growing (and killing) strawberry plants for many years and getting very little yield out of them before they died, I decided to switch gears.

Alpine strawberries grow in very cold areas, not at all like Phoenix. So it seems like a bad fit. But my theory is that Alpine strawberries need to grow really deep root systems to survive on top of  a mountain, unlike domestic strawberries which have relatively shallow root systems.

So I put the theory to the test, got some Alpine strawberry seeds, cold stratified them in the fridge, sprouted them and planted them. I got a bunch of different varieties and wanted to see what lived and what didn't. There were several plants that made it though all of 2017 (including summer) and are now growing / thriving now. Mingonette seems to be the clearest winner followed by Yellow Wonder. There are a few more plants and I can't tell if they are other Migonettes or some of the other varieties.


The Alpine strawberries produce very small strawberries (size of a dime or smaller). So they will never be 'presentation' strawberries. But what they lack in size, they more than make up for in flavor. They are *intensely* strawberry flavored. Even the best store bought strawberries seem very bland / washed out in comparison.

Mingonette Alpine strawberry, Spring 2018

3 tiny Mingonettes compared to 1 Elan (similar size to store bought), 2018

Alpine strawberries on their little flower/fruit stalks, hanging like ornaments (often well-hidden under foliage). These don't lay on the ground and spoil.