North Carolina’s State Red Berries

Written By North Carolina History Project

Strawberries are the state’s “red berry” and blueberries are the state’s “blue berry.” In 2001, the General Assembly made this compromise when it was trying to select a “state berry.” The decision followed a campaign for a state berry conducted by elementary-school students who were divided into two factions.

Strawberries are one of the most consumed fruits in the world. North Carolina farmers rank third in the nation in the production of strawberries—by far, the leading producer in the nation is California, which produces 90 percent of the country’s strawberries. Florida ranks second.

In North Carolina, between 1500 and 2000 acres are devoted to strawberries, Most are sold locally, often at roadside fruit stands. North Carolina does not export many strawberries to other parts of the country for processing. Strawberries are annually harvested in the late spring and early summer, usually from mid-April to early June.  Although there are many varieties of strawberries, three are commonly grown in North Carolina: Camarosa, Chandler, and Sweet Charlie. Like blueberries, strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and rich in fiber and antioxidants. They are also a great source of vitamin K, vitamin B, and folic acid.