We love to pick wild berries to make homemade cobbler and jam, but there are so many different types of berries that it’s often confusing. There is the raspberry, boysenberry, elderberry, mulberry, blackberry, currants, and so many more, and some are so close in appearance, it’s hard to tell them apart. What’s the difference between a black raspberry vs blackberry? What about mulberries vs blackberries?
Most berries are sweet, tasty, and healthy, but some are more tart than others and have a different texture, and their nutritional benefits vary.
Black raspberries are a variety of common red raspberries native to North America, while blackberries are like cousins to raspberries and grow in areas throughout the world.
There are many health benefits to growing them, but it’s essential to choose the right one for your location. Contrary to popular belief, neither blackberries nor black raspberries are true berries.
Instead, they are an aggregate fruit, composed of individual, small drupelets, each one containing a seed. While they are related and look similar on the outside, they are two completely different fruits and hard to tell apart while growing on the vine.
- Taste, Nutrition, and Growing Habits of Blackberry vs Black Raspberry
Taste, Nutrition, and Growing Habits of Blackberry vs Black Raspberry
Are blackberries and black raspberries the same? This is a common question since the two fruits look nearly identical. However, blackberries and black raspberries come from different plants, and their berry structure, flavor, and growing habits are not the same.
If you stumble on brambles of wild blackberries or black raspberries, you might have difficulty telling one from the other. Find the appearance, taste, and nutrition difference between blackberries and black raspberries, ways to grow them in your yard, and harvest them for a tasty recipe.
Are Blackberries and Black Raspberries the Same?
Are blackberries and black raspberries the same? While they may look very similar, these fruits are not the same, and they come from different plants.
Discover how black raspberry and blackberry plants differ and their varying cultivars and the climates they both require for healthy growth according to USDA hardiness zones.
What is a black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis), and how is it different from a blackberry (Rubus)? Black raspberries and blackberries are fruits that grow on viny plants and shrubs. They are related members of the Rubus family but are different fruits.
Blackberry plants grow three to four feet tall and wide in hardiness zones 5 through 10. The roots are perennial, and the tops are biennial, which means a vine that grows this year won’t produce fruit until next year. They are usually thornier than black raspberries, but there are thornless varieties.
Black raspberries are a deciduous shrub that grows seven to ten feet tall. It has purple canes, and like a blackberry plant, it doesn’t produce fruit on first year vines. It grows ideally in zones 5 through 8, and training and pruning are necessary for optimal growth.
The fruits of both plants are strikingly similar to black dewberries, but they are easy to tell apart when you pluck them from the vine.
Inspect the fruit after picking it and look at the part that was attached to the stem. Black raspberries leave the receptacle of the fruit on the plant, and they have a hollow center, while blackberries do not, and the white core is still intact.
There are also different cultivars of blackberry and black raspberry plants. Blackberries are available in erect thornless, erect thorny, semi-erect, and thorny varieties, like Navaho, Shawnee, and Olallie.
There is also a range of black raspberries, including John Robertson, a good type for making jelly; Morrison, a variety with a large berry; and trailing blackberries native to Oregon.
It’s important to learn when is the time to prune raspberry plants as well as blackberries so they will fruit the following year.
Flavor Difference between Blackberries and Black Raspberries
As much as these berries resemble each other on a vine, there is a difference between blackberries and black raspberries when it comes to flavor. Learn how they taste different and ways to use them in recipes.
What are raspberries, and what do they taste like? Raspberries are an aggregate fruit from the Rosaceae rose family, common throughout North America, and there are red, yellow, black, and blue varieties.
Black raspberries have a sweet-tart taste and tiny white hairs on their drupelets. Blackberries are smooth and glossy, firm, and more tart than raspberries.
Black raspberries do not have a core, and they are softer than blackberries, so they spoil faster after they ripen. However, both fruits are excellent fresh as an ice cream topping, baking in pie, cobbler, and cupcakes, or making into jelly and jam.
Nutrition of Black Raspberry vs Blackberry
What is a black raspberry, and is it more nutritious than a blackberry? Black raspberries, also called black caps, thimbleberries, and wild black raspberries, are North American fruit related to blackberries. Both fruits contain many nutrients, and they are a healthy addition to your diet.
Both fruits are low in calories and an excellent source of fiber, great for regulating blood sugar levels. They contain vitamin C for boosting your immune system and polyphenols, health-promoting compounds with antioxidant properties that protect your cells from oxidative damage.
Anthocyanins are one of these compounds that give blackberries and black raspberries their black color. They also contain vitamin K, manganese, and other beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Black raspberries have higher levels of antioxidants, making them one of the healthiest berries for fighting disease and illness.
How to Grow Berry Plants in Your Garden by Propagation
Berries are a great addition to the home garden. They are reasonably easy to grow and provide you with abundant fresh fruits for making preserves or snacking straight from the vine.
Find out how to grow blackberry and black raspberry plants from cuttings and prune them for the best fruit production.
To propagate blackberry leafy stem cuttings, wait until the cane is succulent and firm and then cut away four to six inches of the stem. Plant them a couple of inches deep in damp peat and sand and keep them slightly moist.
They develop roots in three to four weeks and are easy to transplant in the garden. Another way to propagate them is to remove suckers from the parent plant and replant them in the desired location.
Black raspberries are propagated by tip-layering or burying the cane’s tip two to four inches beneath the ground. For this method, bend the young shoots of a mature plant over to the ground and bury the tip in a few inches of soil.
Allow them to grow through the fall and winter. In the spring, there is enough root formation to clip the section away from the parent plant and replant it in another area. Ensure you follow the proper raspberry bush spacing for adequate airflow and to reduce disease and bug problems.
Make sure to position a trellis behind your these climbing fruit plants right after planting, give the new canes about an inch of water each week, and feed them a balanced fertilizer the first year.
In early spring, before the flower buds form, tip-prune blackberry plants. Clip them back to about 24-inches to encourage the canes to branch out.
If they are smaller than two feet, clip only an inch. After fruiting in the summer, remove the spent stems to encourage more first year canes. To prune black raspberries, wait until the second year and clip them in the early fall to 24 to 36 inches tall.
Of course, planting blackberry bush seeds is another option but it takes much longer to get a crop of delicious berries.
Making Homemade Jam with Blackberries or Black Raspberries
There is nothing better than eating berries while picking them from the vines, but they only stay fresh for so long before they spoil.
One of the best ways to preserve them is to make homemade jam. You can use either berry to prepare this recipe, and you only need three ingredients.
Pour the sugar, berries, and lemon juice into a saucepan large enough to leave several inches of headspace for foaming.
Place the pot on medium-low heat and simmer the jam for 20 to 30 minutes until it reaches the gel stage. Mash the berries and stir them consistently to prevent excessive bubbling.
Test the jam for the gel stage by placing a teaspoon of the liquid on a plate and freezing it for one minute. Push the edge of the gel with your finger. If it wrinkles, it is ready. Otherwise, cook the jam for another couple of minutes.
Remove the pan from the stove and immediately pour the hot jam into sterilized canning jars, leaving a quarter-inch of headspace. Store them in the refrigerator or process them in a water bath canner for ten minutes.
While blackberries and black raspberries look similar, they are actually quite different in taste and growing habits. Knowing their differences goes a long way to choosing the perfect plant for your yard and fruits for preparing sweet and healthy desserts.
Now that you understand the difference between a black raspberry vs blackberry fruit and plant, why not share our blackberry and black raspberry guide, growing tips, and recipe with the berry-lovers in your life on Facebook and Pinterest?