If you want to begin to understand the genetic composition of strawberry fi rst hand, a good place to start is the USDA Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Here strawberry plants exist that have been collected from locales all over the globe, representing the Fragaria genus at all levels of its ranging variation. Inside one of the many greenhouses you can truly appreciate the genetic complexity resident within the genus Fragaria. The inherent variation in what is normally considered to be a rather monomorphic plant stands out when the individuals can be examined side by side. You can easily detect conspicuous differences in plant stature, leaf size, fl ower morphology and fruit size, along with many other attributes that only increase in number the more you observe them. These differences refl ect the broad adaptation that has occurred among Fragaria species as they spread and colonized discrete niches throughout the northern hemisphere and the west coast of South America (for review see Darrow 1966; Hancock 1999; Hummer and Hancock 2009; Staudt 2009).