Black Raspberry

Latin Name: Rubus occidentalis

Facts about Black Raspberry:

  • Flower for a short period in June

  • Height: 2 to 3 m tall

  • Location: Eastern North America Exposure:

  • Sun Exposure: Full shade

  • Soil: prefer moist conditions

  • Looks Like:

    • Flowers: long slender sepals, more than twice as long as the petals

    • When picked, the fruit separates from the fleshy core, forming a hollow shell

    • Twigs have an abundance of hooked prickles

  • The edible fruit is an aggregation of drupelets

Biodiversity Benefits:

  • Helps feed wildlife as not only humans feed off of the berries.

  • Although short lived, the flowers do help provide floral resources for pollinators.

Historical Uses:

  • Black raspberries are very useful as natural dyes, creating a purple to dull blue colour.

  • They also contain antioxidants, so there is great interest in their nutritional and pharmaceutical potential.

  • Research is underway investigating their benefits in cancer treatment.

  • Because of the relatively short harvesting period, most berries harvested are either dried or frozen, or made into purées or juices. Fresh berries are marketed while in season; they are also used in pies and teas.

  • The plant, including the roots, has also been used for medicinal purposes; for example in dealing with digestive issues, and even coughs and toothaches.