How to Differentiate Blackberries from Raspberries: 5 Steps

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How to Differentiate Blackberries from Raspberries: 5 Steps
How to Differentiate Blackberries from Raspberries: 5 Steps

You might assume that the main difference between raspberries and blackberries is the color, but that's not quite right. Blackberries also turn red before they ripen. Also, there are two types of raspberries: red and black. Black raspberries can be easily confused with blackberries. So how to differentiate them? We will show you how to follow.


Tell Raspberries and Blackberries Apart Step 1

Step 1. Look for rods

Both blackberries and raspberries produce clustered fruit composed of many tiny single-seed drupes, held together by microscopic hairs. The drupes form around a core

  • When the raspberries are picked, the group of drupes we call the raspberry slide from the core, leaving it behind. With blackberries, the receptacle breaks at the connection with the stem and remains inside the fruit.

  • When a ripe blackberry is picked, the stalk left behind is clean and smooth, and the fruit has a soft white core. The blackberry is not hollow.

Tell Raspberries and Blackberries Apart Step 2

Step 2. Note the shape of the raspberry

  • Red raspberries tend to be longer (similar to blackberries actually). Most cultivated raspberries are like this. The core is pretty big.
  • Black raspberries tend to be rounder or semi-spherical rather than long like a red raspberry. The core is small, but you can see it's a raspberry because it will be hollow.

Tell Raspberries and Blackberries Apart Step 3

Step 3. Think about harvest time

Red and black raspberries tend to ripen in July, although this varies according to the region in which they are planted. Blackberries tend to ripen a little later than raspberries. However, there may be overlapping stations.

Tell Raspberries and Blackberries Apart Step 4

Step 4. Examine the plant

The plants look almost the same to those unfamiliar with them. They all have "stems", that is, long stalks that come straight out of the ground. All have thorns or spines, and similar leaves. But if you look closely, you'll start to see some differences between the three types of fruit.

  • The stalk of red raspberries is nowhere near as tall as that of blackberries. Red raspberries are about 1.5m tall. When the stems sprout from the ground, they are light green. The stalks of these raspberries have more thorns than those of blackberries, but they are "fuzzy" thorns, not spiky like those of the rose.

  • Black raspberry stalks are shorter than red raspberries and curve to the ground.

  • The stalks have a very light, bluish color, which “pulls out” if you rub the stalk. The thorns are among those of red raspberries and blackberries in both the number and size of the thorns.

  • The stem of blackberries is huge and quite resistant, and reaches up to 3 meters in height. The stem is green, and the thorns are large, similar to those of the rose.

Tell Raspberries and Blackberries Apart Intro

Step 5. Finished


  • There are many types of raspberries, including golden raspberry (yellowish orange when ripe), Korean raspberry (black when ripe).
  • There are many types of berries that look like raspberries and blackberries, including Marionberry, Boysenberry, Loganberry, Youngberry, Dewbarry, Salmonberry and Wineberry. Some grow on stems, others are creeping.
  • There are varieties of thornless blackberries.
  • Blackberries grow on huge chunks of land in the field and can be used to make wine and pies.


  • If you have never picked wild berries before, you should have someone with you to show you how to identify the plants.
  • Wild berries commonly grow on abandoned land. Other less pleasant things grow there too, like poisonous plants, nettles, snakes, etc. Stay very alert for hidden dangers.
  • Blackberries can be quite sour when they're not fully ripe.
  • The stalk of the ripe blackberry has large thorns and if you go into mulberry trees you can get hurt.

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