Black raspberries and blackberries are sweet, tasty, and nutritious fruits.
Given that they have a similar deep purple color and appearance, many people think they’re different names for the same fruit. However, they’re two distinct fruits.
This article reviews the major differences and similarities between black raspberries and blackberries.
Despite their name, neither fruit is a true berry. Botanically, both are considered aggregate fruits, which are composed of small drupelets, or individual bumps on the fruit. Each drupelet contains a seed.
Among those who grow them, they’re known as caneberry plants, as they grow on woody stems with canes.
Black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis L.) are a special variety of the more common red raspberry that’s native to North America. They’re also known as blackcaps, wild black raspberries, or thimbleberries (1).
Most commercially produced black raspberries grow in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. They prefer a cooler climate and are harvested in July. Thus, they’re not as widely available as blackberries (
Blackberries are another member of the Rubus genus or subfamily, so they are like cousins to black raspberries. They grow in many parts of the world, including the United States, Mexico, and Chile, so you should be able to find them as fresh fruit year-round (
Botanically, black raspberries and blackberries are related, but they’re completely different fruits. Black raspberries have a very short growing season, while blackberries are more widely available year-round.
Blackberries and black raspberries are often mistaken for each other due to their similar outward appearances.
It’s hard to tell them apart when they’re on the vine. Blackberries may be thornier than black raspberries, but there are also thornless blackberries.
However, it’s easier to tell the difference after harvesting. Simply look at the side of the fruit where it was plucked from the stem. Black raspberries leave a piece of the inside of the fruit on the stem from which they’re picked, so they have a hollow core.
With blackberries, the entire fruit comes off the stem, so they’ll have a white or green core where they were attached to the stem.
Both are soft, perishable fruits, but because of their hollow core, black raspberries are softer and even more perishable than blackberries.
If you compare them side by side, you’ll also notice that the drupelets of blackberries are smooth and glossy, while raspberries are covered in tiny white hairs.
The two fruits also have a different flavor profile, with blackberries being more tart, while black raspberries are sweeter.
Blackberries and black raspberries are often confused with each other because they look similar. The best way to tell them apart is to check the stem side of the fruit. Black raspberries have a hollow core, tiny hairs, and a sweeter flavor than blackberries.
Regardless of which you pick up at the market, both blackberries and black raspberries are very nutritious. Here is the nutrition data for a 1-cup (140-gram) serving of blackberries and black raspberries, respectively (
|8 grams, 31% of the Daily Value (DV)
|9 grams, 32% of the DV
|30 mg, 50% of the DV
|35 mg, 58% of the DV
Both fruits are notably low in calories and excellent sources of fiber, which helps regulate your blood sugar levels and digestive tract. A 1-cup (140-gram) serving of either fruit provides more than one-third of the DV for this nutrient for adults.
A serving of either fruit also adds a significant amount of vitamin C to your diet, which is important for maintaining a healthy immune system and connective tissue (
In addition, like other berries, both fruits have health-promoting compounds called polyphenols (
These plant compounds have antioxidant properties, which means they can help protect cells from oxidative damage. In doing so, they help reduce the risk of certain chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (
Anthocyanins are a type of polyphenol that gives blackberries and black raspberries their inky-black color. Both fruits have impressive amounts of anthocyanins, which are linked to healthier blood vessels and may protect cells from mutating and becoming cancerous (
Both fruits are low in calories and excellent sources of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. Eating either can benefit your digestive system and blood vessels and potentially even reduce your risk of cancer.
Both of these berries are delicious when eaten fresh. Because they’re soft fruits and highly perishable, keep them refrigerated and use them within 2–3 days.
Fresh black raspberries and blackberries can add a pop of deep, rich color to a fresh fruit or leafy green salad, work well as a topping on oats or yogurt, or be included in a cheese platter.
Both berries are also available frozen. In fact, because black raspberries have such a short growing season, you might have more luck finding them frozen — or freezing your own.
With frozen berries, you can enjoy their flavor and health benefits any time, as their antioxidants remain intact even when frozen (
If you’re using frozen berries, keep in mind that they will be soft and mushy once they thaw, but they will taste fine. They’re great to use in baking, as a sauce on top of pancakes or waffles, or in smoothies.
Another way to enjoy either fresh or frozen blackberries and black raspberries is to make them into jam and enjoy them all year round. Because they’re more tart, blackberry jam may need a bit of extra sugar, so give it a taste before canning.
Fresh blackberries and black raspberries are highly perishable, so store them in the refrigerator and use them within a few days. Tasty ways to use these berries include adding them to salads, smoothies, and sauces, or using them to make jam.
Even though they look very similar, black raspberries and blackberries are two completely different fruits.
To tell them apart, look for the telltale hole in the bottom. Black raspberries have a hollow core, while blackberries are solid.
Regardless of which one you choose, these fruits have a similar nutritional profile, and they’re packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins.
Incorporating more of them into your diet can have numerous benefits, such as regulating your digestive tract, promoting healthier blood vessels, and reducing your risk of cancer.