Black Raspberry vs Blackberry: Is There a Difference?

Written by August Croft
Updated: November 2, 2022
© iStock.com/KVLADIMIRV
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Did you know that there are some significant differences between a blackberry vs black raspberry? Despite it being extremely difficult to tell these two types of berries apart, they are indeed separate from one another, and there are a number of things that you can look for in order to tell them apart. But what might some of those things be? 

In this article, we will go over all of the things you need to know in order to tell the difference between the blackberry vs black raspberry. We will go over what they look like physically, how they grow, what they are used for, and what they taste like. If you are hoping to branch out and discover a new berry, you’re in the right place! Let’s get started and talk all about these two different berries now

Comparing Black Raspberry vs Blackberry

Black Raspberry vs Blackberry
Blackberries have white green cores inside of each berry, while the inside of a black raspberry is hollow.

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Black RaspberryBlackberry
ClassificationRubusRubus
DescriptionRich black berry that is short and squat. Composed of a few small drupelets but very few small seeds. Hollow core without substance inside. Small, delicate hairs grow on the outside of the fruitRich black colorations and a slightly elongated berry. Composed of many small drupelets and changes color while on the vine. Solid green-white core in the center of the berry. Many seeds in a single berry, often evident as you chew
UsesExpensive given small yields, but used in the same ways you use blackberries and raspberries; sweetness and delicateness makes it a perfect berry for raw consumptionUsed around the world in jams, pies, and more, or eaten raw. Bitterness makes it less palatable to some, but many blackberry varieties are sweet
Hardiness Zones5-8; grows on large shrubs5-10; grows on a bush
Flavor and TextureSweet flavor and delicate texture, with very few seeds. Difficult to handle, given its fragile fleshSour and earthy, with a bit of sweetness. Soft to the touch and juicy, and may stain hands or clothes

Key Differences Between Black Raspberry vs Blackberry

Black Raspberry vs Blackberry
Blackberries are typically larger and longer compared to the short and round black raspberry.

©iStock.com/KVLADIMIRV

There are a number of key differences between blackberry vs black raspberry. For example, black raspberries are smaller in size compared to the average blackberry. Blackberries have white green cores inside of each berry, while the inside of a black raspberry is hollow. Finally, black raspberries are more delicate and sweeter compared to blackberries. 

Black Raspberry vs Blackberry: Classification

It may surprise you to hear that black raspberries and blackberries are from the same plant family, known as Rubus. However, there are different varieties of black raspberries and blackberries, further separating them from one another. They are indeed related, which explains their similarities in physical description and flavor, but they are distinct and separate from one another. 

Black Raspberry vs Blackberry: Description

Black Raspberry vs Blackberry
Black raspberries have extremely fine hairs on the outside of the fruit, just like red raspberries do, while most blackberries do not have this.

©Diane Garcia/Shutterstock.com

Once you know what to look for, there are some obvious differences in the physical description of a blackberry vs black raspberry. For example, blackberries are typically larger and longer compared to the short and round black raspberry. In addition, black raspberries are hollow inside the berry itself, while blackberries have a white green core that you can see at the base of the fruit. 

While the coloring of black raspberries is similar to blackberries, the average blackberry is shinier than the average black raspberry.  Finally, you may be able to tell the difference between these two berries if you look at them closely. Black raspberries have extremely fine hairs on the outside of the fruit, just like red raspberries do, while most blackberries do not have this. 

Black Raspberry vs Blackberry: Uses

Black raspberries and blackberries have fantastic flavors to use in a variety of things, including many different sweet baking recipes and jams. However, blackberries are more prevalent compared to black raspberries, making them more affordable and easier to access overall. While you may enjoy the flavor of black raspberries more than blackberries, they are definitely more difficult to get a hold of! 

Black Raspberry vs Blackberry: Hardiness Zones

Black Raspberry vs Blackberry
Blackberries grow in hardiness zones 5 through 10, wild black raspberries grow in hardiness zones 5 through 8.

©iStock.com/billberryphotography

Not only are black raspberries more difficult to get a hold of compared to blackberries, they also grow in fewer locations. For example, blackberries grow in hardiness zones 5 through 10, while black raspberries grow in hardiness zones 5 through 8. This means that black raspberries can’t handle the same level of frost and chill compared to blackberries. 

This isn’t to say that you can’t grow them in your own backyard, as blackberries and black raspberries grow in a similar way. They both grow on bushes, but just know what zone you live in so that your black raspberry plants will thrive and not suffer from frost! 

Black Raspberry vs Blackberry: Flavor and Texture

Black Raspberry vs Blackberry
Black raspberries are sweeter and less tart in their flavor compared to the average blackberry.

©iStock.com/syaber

Most people know of the flavor of the average blackberry, but have you ever tasted a black raspberry? Overall, black raspberries are sweeter and less tart in their flavor compared to the average blackberry. However, there’s an even greater difference separating these two varieties from each other, and that is their texture. 

Black raspberries are much softer and more delicate compared to the average blackberry. Not only does this make them more difficult to grow and package for commercial use, but it also makes them perfect for consuming raw. Blackberries have many more seeds inside of their fruits compared to the black raspberry, which means you may want to bake with blackberries to avoid this texture. Black raspberries are delicious raw, picked directly from the vine!


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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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