Cornell University once created purple strawberries

The elusive purple strawberry is celebrated for its deep, rich, almost regal tones, sweet flavor, and aromatic scent. It's rarely spotted in grocery stores, but you can grow your own.

Developed at Cornell University's small fruits and breeding program over the course of 13 years, the aptly-named Purple Wonder strawberry made its official debut at the Philadelphia International Flower Show in March 2012 when Cornell partnered with W. Atlee Burpee Co. At the time, the seed giant was actively seeking new seed varieties to add to its consumer portfolio, particularly those that were easy-to-cultivate berries deemed suitable for backyard growing and container gardening while also being hardy enough to thrive in wide-ranging climates. Cornell's Purple Wonder fit the bill and was ready for market. It was a perfect match (per Cornell University).

Creating a new variety of any plant can be a complicated process, or it can happen just by accident. So, long story, short(er): Plants reproduce via cuttings or seeds. Strawberries reproduce through the runners that shoot from each plant and through seeds. Runners produce the exact same fruit as the parent plant. Seedlings affected by pollination and fertilization adapt to changing growing conditions. Growers in the 17th and 18th centuries noticed the difference and began to purposefully interbreed different varieties of plants, experimenting with combinations and conditions to develop adaptable food sources.

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