Strawberry and Cucumber Cross Pollination

I saw the strangest thing in my little garden today and hopefully someone can help explain how this happened!

I went out to check on the garden and, in the section pictured below, I have cucumbers (in the red box) and strawberries (in the blue box).  Cucumbers and strawberries are still coming in strong here in the upstate of South Carolina and as expected, the cucumber vines have encroached into the strawberries and you can see a nice cucumber in the bottom of the picture where the strawberries are. 

But after closer examination of the cucumber…..I found that there was a strawberry growing from the cucumber vine!

These pictures were not doctored and there is a video below for further evidence. 

Holy cow!  How can this happen?!?!?

I’m familiar with cross pollination but usually that is done with plants of the same species (but with different varieties) such as different types of tomatoes.  As a kid I cross pollinated my mom’s African Violets and created multicolor flower pedals by taking the pollen from a purple flowering plant and pollinating a white flowering plant (creating purple and white pedals).    

But growing a strawberry on a cucumber vine?

What is the explanation?

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2 Responses to Strawberry and Cucumber Cross Pollination

  1. pbunyan says:

    I would suspect what happened was the cucumber tendril wrapped it self tightly around the stem of an immature strawberry, so tight in fact that the tendril “grafted” to the stem. At some point the cucumber vine was tugged hard enough (perhaps from a ripe cucumber somewhere along the vine being picked, or maybe during normal weeding activities) that the strawberry stem broke away from the strawberry plant but not from the cucumber tendril it had grafted to. Because the strawberry stem was grafted to the cucumber tendril it was able to receive water and nutrients from the cucumber plant and thus continued to live and grow.

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