How to Tell Raspberries and Blackberries Apart

Опубликовал Admin
28-04-2021, 01:20
You might assume that the main difference between raspberries and blackberries is the color, but that's not the case. Blackberries are red when they're unripe. Plus, there are two types of raspberries: red and black. Black raspberries can easily be confused for blackberries. So how do you tell them all apart? This will show you how!


  1. Look for a rasp! Both raspberries and blackberries produce aggregate fruits composed of many small, single-seeded droplets held together with microscopic hairs. The droplets form around the outside of a core, or rasp.
    • When raspberries are picked, the cluster of drupelets that we call a raspberry slips off the rasp, leaving it behind. In blackberries, the receptacle breaks off where it connects to the stem and remains inside the fruit.
    • When a ripe blackberry is picked, the stem left behind is clean and flat, and the berry has a soft white core inside it. The blackberry is not hollow.
  2. Observe the shape of the raspberry. If you're looking at a raspberry that's red, it might be a ripe red raspberry, or an unripe black raspberry.
    • Red raspberries tend to be more oblong in shape (similar to blackberries, actually). Most cultivated raspberries are of this type. The rasp is quite large.
    • Black raspberries tend to be more rounded, or half-spherical in shape, not oblong like red raspberries. The rasp is very small, but you can tell that it's a raspberry because the berry will be hollow.
  3. Consider the timing. Both red and black raspberries tend to ripen in July, although this will vary with how far north or south they're growing. Blackberries tend to ripen a just a little later than raspberries. There may be some overlap in their seasons.
  4. Inspect the plant. The plants look roughly the same to those not familiar with them. All have "canes," that is, long stems coming directly out of the ground. All three have thorns or prickers, and all have similar leaves. But if you look closely, you'll begin to see some differences between the three types.
    • Red raspberry canes are not nearly as tall as blackberry canes. Red raspberries are about 5 feet (1.5 m) high. When the stems come up out of the ground, they have a pale green color to them. The stems have more thorns than blackberries, but they are more "fuzzy", and not heavy like rose thorns.
    • Black raspberry canes are shorter than those of red raspberry and bend back towards the ground.
    • The stems have a very pale color, almost bluish, that "rubs off" if you rub the stem. The thorns are somewhere in between red raspberries and blackberries in both the number of the thorns on the stem, and also how large the thorns themselves are.
    • The canes of the blackberries are huge and very vigorous, growing up to 10 feet (3.0 m) in height. The stems themselves are green, and the thorns are substantial, resembling rose thorns.
  5. Finished.


  • Blackberries grow in huge patches along the highway and they can be harvested to make incredible wine and delicious pies.
  • There are thornless varieties of blackberries.
  • There are lots of other berries that resemble raspberries and blackberries, including Marionberry, Boysenberry, Loganberry, Youngberry, Dewberry, Salmonberry, and Wineberry. There are probably others as well. Some of these grow on canes, some trail along the ground.
  • There are many different kinds of cultivated raspberries, including gold raspberries (yellow-orange when ripe), fall-bearing raspberries (red or dark red, and ripen in the fall).


  • Wild berries often grow on abandoned land. Less pleasant things grow there too, like poison ivy, nettles, snakes, etc. Keep a sharp eye out for hidden dangers.
  • Blackberry plants along public roads are often sprayed with weed killers. Pick from plants that you know are safe.
  • Blackberries, when not fully ripe, can be quite sour!
  • Mature blackberry canes have large thorns and if you get into the middle of a mature patch of blackberries you could injure yourself getting out.
  • If you've never gone out picking wild berries before, you should have someone show you how to identify the plants when you first go out. You don't want to eat something poisonous!
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