‘Strawberry Sprouts’ Are the Internet’s Latest Obsession—Here’s Why

We never knew our favorite fruit could do this!

The internet has given us some pretty wild stuff this year. From all the whipped concoctions we could possibly crave to showing us how to use potato peelers the right way, there’s no shortage of curious info that changes our perspective on our favorite foods and how we prepare ’em.

This past week, the internet decided to shine a light on a particularly curious phenomenon involving one of our favorite fruits—the strawberry. Apparently strawberry sprouts can produce leaves from the seedy surface of this power food. (And honestly, we’re not sure how we feel about that.)

It’s Cool—and Creepy

Yes, you read that right. Some strawberry seeds grow leaves while they’re still on the vine, which creates a partially—or even fully—leaf-covered berry. If you’re having trouble picturing that, check out this snap courtesy of @WildAware on Instagram.

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Strawberries sprouting! The phenomenon where the “seeds” turn into green shoots all over the surface of a strawberry is called “vivipary.” . . . #wildaware #strawberry #food #vegan #sprouting #vivipary #interestingfacts

A post shared by Malin (@wildaware) on

Even wackier, you can still safely eat that strawberry, because vivipary doesn’t render the fruit inedible. The process doesn’t just occur in strawberries, either—it happens to tomatoes, mangoes and other seeded foods. But imagine biting into one of these guys in your favorite strawberry pie recipe

This Process Has a Name

Apparently this strange occurrence of something sprouting while still on the vine is called vivipary. It’s relatively uncommon, but when it does happen, it tends to happen to the whole fruit. You’re not likely to find one leaf growing from the strawberry’s surface. You’ll usually find a whole berry covered in leaves!

Gardeners would also be interested to know that these sprouts can be planted, but they should be kept separate from each other. Just plunking that berry in the ground would result in too many plants concentrated in a single location. Keep that in mind during the next strawberry harvest.

Make These Recipes with Fresh (and Leafless) Strawberries!
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Emily Hannemann
Emily adores both food and writing, so combining those passions as a writer for Taste of Home makes perfect sense. Her work has also appeared in Birds & Blooms and on TV Insider. When she’s not eating peanut butter straight from the jar, you'll find her running or birdwatching. Emily is currently a journalism graduate student at the University of Missouri.