The modern strawberry is a man-made hybrid of the smaller wild strawberry, which has a shorter shelf life as well as a better flavor and aroma. The modern strawberry first appeared in France in the 18th century. However, the hybridization program began much earlier.
In the 1300s, French botanists started planting wild strawberries in their gardens when they realized that wild strawberries reproduced by cloning. Strangely, some strawberries never produced fruits and half of the ones that did suddenly stopped cloning and making fruits after some years.
The French managed to create wild strawberries that were 15–20 times their normal size, but they were still incredibly small. Antoine Nicolas Duchesne created the modern strawberry on July 6, 1764, when he crossed a male Fragaria moschata with a female Fragaria chiloensis from Chile.
Before Duchesne created his strawberry, French botanists had never realized that strawberries had male and female parts. This was the reason some never produced fruits as some botanists had planted either males or females. Duchesne continued working on the strawberry until the French Revolution, leaving American and British botanists to perfect the modern strawberry.