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File:Raspberries (Rubus Idaeus).jpg
Cultivated raspberries

The raspberry (plural, raspberries) is the edible fruit of a number of species of the genus Rubus. The name originally refers in particular to the European species Rubus idaeus, and is still used for that species as its standard English name in its native area.[1] Other species, mostly closely related in the same subgenus Idaeobatus, also called raspberries subsequently include:

Raspberries are an important commercial fruit crop, widely grown in all temperate regions of the world. Many of the most important modern commercial raspberry cultivars derive from hybrids between R. idaeus and R. strigosus.[2]


Raspberry in flower in a garden

Raspberries are grown for the fresh fruit market and for commercial processing into individually quick frozen (IQF) fruit, purée, juice, or as dried fruit used in a variety of grocery products. Traditionally, raspberries were a mid-summer crop, but with new technology, cultivars and transportation, they can now be obtained year-round. Raspberries need ample sun and water for optimal development. While moisture is essential, wet and heavy soils or excess irrigation can bring on Phytophthora root rot which is one of the most serious pest problems facing red raspberry. As a cultivated plant in moist temperate regions, it is easy to grow and has a tendency to spread unless pruned. Escaped raspberries frequently appear as garden weeds, spread by seeds found in bird droppings.

Two types are commercially available, the wild-type summer bearing, that produces an abundance of fruit on second-year canes (floricanes) within a relatively short period in mid-summer, and double- or "ever"-bearing plants, which also bear some fruit on first-year canes (primocanes) in the late summer and fall, as well as the summer crop on second-year canes. Raspberries can be cultivated from hardiness zones 3 to 9.

Raspberries are traditionally planted in the winter as dormant canes, although planting of tender, plug plants from tissue culture produced plants has become much more common. A specialized production system called "long cane production" involves growing canes for 1 year in a northern climate such as Scotland (UK) or Washington State (US) where the chilling requirement for proper budbreak is met early. These canes are then dug, roots and all, to be replanted in warmer climates such as Spain where they quickly flower and produce a very early season crop. Plants should be spaced 1 m apart in fertile, well drained soil; raspberries are usually planted in raised beds/ridges if there is any question about root rot problems.

The flowers can be a major nectar source for honeybees.

Raspberries are very vigorous and can be invasive. They propagate using basal shoots (also known as suckers); extended underground shoots that develop roots and individual plants. They can sucker new canes some distance from the main plant. For this reason, raspberries spread well, and can take over gardens if left unchecked.

The fruit is harvested when it has turned a deep red and comes off the torus/receptacle easily. This is when the fruits are most ripe and sweetest. Excess fruit can be made into raspberry jam or frozen.

The leaves can be used fresh or dried in herbal and medicinal teas. They have an astringent flavour, and in herbal medicine are reputed to be effective in regulating menses.

Each raspberry weigh about 4 g each on the average [3] and is made up of around 100 drupelets, [4] which consist of a juicy pulp and a single tiny seed in the center. Raspberry bushes can yield several pounds of fruit (or several hundred berries) a year. Unlike blackberries, raspberries have a hollow core once it is removed from the receptacle.


Numerous cultivars have been selected. Recent breeding has resulted in cultivars that are thornless and more strongly upright, not needing staking. Raspberries have been crossed with black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) to produce purple raspberies and with species in other subgenera of the genus Rubus, resulting in a number of hybrids, such as boysenberry and loganberry. Cultivars with yellow fruit are sometimes termed "golden raspberry".

Selected important cultivars


Red, early summer fruiting        
  • 'Boyne'
  • 'Fertődi Venus'
  • 'Rubin Bulgarski'
  • 'Cascade Dawn'
  • 'Glen Clova'
  • 'Glen Moy'
  • 'Killarney'
  • 'Malahat'
  • 'Malling Exploit'
  • 'Titan'
  • 'Willamette'
Red, mid summer
  • 'Cuthbert'
  • 'Fertődi Kármin'
  • 'Fertődi Zamatos'
  • 'Fertődi Zenit'
  • 'Lloyd George'
  • 'Meeker'
  • 'Newburgh'
  • 'Skeena'
Red, late summer
  • 'Cascade Delight'
  • 'Coho'
  • 'Fertődi Rubina'
  • 'Glen Prosen'
  • 'Malling Leo'
  • 'Octavia'
  • 'Schoenemann'
  • 'Tulameen'
Red, primocane, fall, autumn fruiting
  • 'Amity'
  • 'Augusta'
  • 'Autumn Bliss'
  • 'Caroline'
  • 'Fertődi Kétszertermő'
  • 'Heritage'
  • 'Josephine'
  • 'Summit'
  • 'Zeva Herbsternte'
Gold/Yellow, primocane, fall, autumn fruiting
  • 'Anne'
  • 'Fallgold'
  • 'Fertődi Aranyfürt'
  • 'Boyne'
  • 'Goldenwest'
  • 'Golden Queen'
  • 'Honey Queen'
  • 'Brandywine'
  • 'Royalty'
  • 'Black Hawk'
  • 'Bristol'
  • 'Cumberland'
  • 'Glencoe'
  • 'Jewel'
  • 'Munger'
  • 'Ohio Everbearer'
  • 'Scepter'

Nutrients and potential health benefits

Raspberries contain significant amounts of polyphenol antioxidants such as anthocyanin pigments linked to potential health protection against several human diseases[5]. The aggregate fruit structure contributes to its nutritional value, as it increases the proportion of dietary fiber, placing it among plant foods with the highest fiber contents known, up to 20% fiber per total weight. Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, with 30 mg per serving of 1 cup (about 50% daily value), manganese (about 60% daily value) and dietary fiber (30% daily value). Contents of B vitamins 1-3, folic acid, magnesium, copper and iron are considerable in raspberries[6].

Raspberries rank near the top of all fruits for antioxidant strength, particularly due to their dense contents of ellagic acid (from ellagotannins), quercetin, gallic acid, anthocyanins, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferol and salicylic acid. All these are polyphenolic antioxidants with promising health benefits under current research[7].

Due to their rich contents of antioxidant vitamin C and the polyphenols mentioned above, raspberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of about 4900 per 100 grams, including them among the top-ranked ORAC fruits. Cranberries and wild blueberries have around 9000 ORAC units and apples average 2800[8].

The following anti-disease properties have been isolated in experimental models. Although there are no clinical studies to date proving these effects in humans, preliminary medical research shows likely benefit of regularly consuming raspberries against:[9][10][11][12]

Diseases and pests

File:Raspberries Yellowjacket.jpg
Wasps can be a nuisance on raspberries

Template:Sect-stub Raspberries are sometimes eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species (butterflies and moths). See list of Lepidoptera that feed on Rubus.


  1. Flora of NW Europe: Rubus idaeus
  2. 2.0 2.1 Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  3. http://berryhealth.fst.oregonstate.edu/health_healing/fact_sheets/red_raspberry_facts.htm
  4. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1399-3054.2000.1100417.x
  5. Gross PM. Scientists zero in on health benefits of berry pigments, Natural Products Information Center, July 2007
  6. World's Healthiest Foods, in-depth nutrient profile for raspberries
  7. Science and nutrition summary for red raspberries, The Berry Doctor
  8. Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL. Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 16;52(12):4026-37. Abstract.
  9. Health and nutrition facts, Washington Red Raspberry Commission
  10. Liu M, Li XQ, Weber C, Lee CY, Brown J, Liu RH. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of raspberries. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 May 8;50(10):2926-30.Abstract.
  11. Heinonen M. Antioxidant activity and antimicrobial effect of berry phenolics--a Finnish perspective. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):684-91.Abstract.
  12. Cerdá B, Tomás-Barberán FA, Espín JC. Metabolism of antioxidant and chemopreventive ellagitannins from strawberries, raspberries, walnuts, and oak-aged wine in humans: identification of biomarkers and individual variability. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Jan 26;53(2):227-35.Abstract.

See also


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