Black Raspberries Vs. Blackberries: What Is the Difference?

What is the difference between black raspberries and blackberries? Are black raspberries and blackberries the same thing? Are they different fruit? How do you tell apart black raspberries from blackberries? Read on to find out what are the differences between blackberries and black raspberries.

  • Blackberries and black raspberries are different species of fruit

But neither blackberries nor black raspberries are actual berries. Bananas are, though.

Despite looking a lot like one another, blackberries and black raspberries are not the same thing. Botanically speaking, the two are different species of fruit, albeit related as in they’re from the same order, genus, subgenus and family of plants. There are at least a few dozen known species of blackberry, and hundreds of subspecies, and about three known species of black raspberry with as of yet an unidentified number of subspecies.

Black raspberry vs blackberry

  • Black raspberries are hollow inside while blackberries retain their core

Probably the easiest way to tell apart black raspberries from blackberries has to be this: black raspberries are hollow inside while blackberries retain their core. To be more exact, when you pick black raspberries, only the fruit comes off the plant – the core inside that keeps the fruit attached to the plant stays on the plant. This leaves a hollow inside the black raspberry fruit after it’s harvested.

If it’s hollow inside, it’s a black raspberry. If it has a light green core inside, it’s a blackberry.

Versus black raspberries which are hollow inside, blackberries are not. That is, when you pick the ripe blackberries off the plant, the center core that keeps the fruit attached to the plant stays with the fruit. So if your black berry has a pale green core inside, then it’s most likely a blackberry.

  • Black raspberry vs blackberry taste

Did you know that black raspberries don’t taste the same as blackberries? It’s true that it takes eating both berries a few times to be able to really tell which is which from the very first bite, but you can really tell the difference just based on taste.

What do black raspberries taste like?

Black raspberries taste like raspberries, but are more mellow and differently flavored compared to other colors. Vs red raspberries which are more openly acidic, black raspberries have a more toned down tart flavor and are noticeably sweeter in taste, albeit not overtly sweet like yellow raspberries. Not just this, but the natural pigments that give black raspberries their color are also the source of a unique profile of flavors that build an overall rich, soft, pleasant taste.

What do blackberries taste like?

Vs black raspberries, blackberries are more tart and slightly less sweet, as well as boast a different flavor profile. One noticeable quality of blackberries is their fermented – fruity flavors with a rich, full-bodied aromatic profile, distinct from any flavors that can be perceived in black raspberries. Also, blackberries have a faint bitter aftertaste, more noticeable if you eat them with the central core.

Black raspberries vs blackberries

  • Blackberries are always very dark in color and have a uniform color when fully ripe

One defining characteristic of blackberries is their color, a very dark, very uniform color. Despite their name, black – berries, blackberries are not a true black color, but rather a very dark purple, so dark it appears black. But both the dark pigment and its uniformity are preserved across cultivars so fully ripe blackberries will all look pretty much the same color-wise.

Blackberries are a homogenous color when fully ripe, and are the same color across species and cultivars.

Vs blackberries which are an unvarying very dark purple color when fully ripe, with homogenous pigmentation, black raspberries are not always as dark colored, or as uniform in their color. Some cultivars of black raspberry have a visible reddish or purplish tinge, or have reddish-purple drupelets side by side with very dark purple ones when fully ripe.

  • Blackberries have a longer season than black raspberries

One big difference between the two culinary berries is their season: blackberries are in season for longer than black raspberries.

How long are blackberries in season?

At least two to three months per region per hemisphere and four or more months in regions with a more favorable climate and weather conditions where they are also cultivated extensively. However, it’s important to note that a blackberry plant will not produce fruits continuously throughout the entire duration of the season, but rather for a limited amount of time.

Because blackberries ripen gradually on the plant, one crop will require several harvests that usually take place over the course of four to six weeks. Find out more about blackberry season.

How long are black raspberries in season?

Black raspberries are not a strong commercial presence right now and this impacts their availability. While they do have the potential to be in season, as in available as fresh fruit, for at least two to three months per year, right now their season is fairly limited. In most regions, black raspberries are in season for just one month, sometimes two. Also see when are purple raspberries in season and when is yellow raspberry season.

  • Blackberry vs black raspberry season by month

In the Northern hemisphere, blackberries are in season mid-late May to early-mid June at the earliest and up until mid-September to early-mid October at the latest. Peak season for blackberries in the Northern hemisphere is June-July throughout August-September.

Black raspberries are in season July or August or July through August and up until September at the latest, depending on the region, climate, weather conditions and cultivar.

  • Black raspberries are a more rare fruit

Whereas blackberries are very common and readily available.

If you find some black berries at the supermarket in, say, June or early July, but don’t know if they’re blackberries or black raspberries, statistically it’s more likely they are blackberries. Black raspberries are simply not a strong presence in commercial cultivation, whereas blackberries have been cultivated quite extensively since the 1700s.

Purple raspberries are even more rare than black raspberries, but growing in popularity. Golden or yellow raspberries are the second most common of all raspberry colors, after red.

  • Black raspberries cost more than blackberries

The price for a certain fruit is determined by how rare the fruit is. Blackberries are cultivated quite extensively in many regions across both hemispheres and are quite a strong presence as both fresh fruit and byproducts.

Both berries can be sourced from the wild where they occur naturally.

By comparison, the cultivation of black raspberries is limited, not to mention sourcing from the wild is not feasible which leads to limited amounts of the fresh berries being available even when it’s peak season. Add the fragility and perishability of the fresh berries to the equation and the prices goes up.

This post was updated on Wednesday / July 21st, 2021 at 1:06 AM