You may not yet be aware of just how many similarities there are between a boysenberry vs blackberry. But is there a difference between these two berry varieties, and how can you learn how to tell them apart? Whether you are interested in growing blackberries and boysenberries in your own backyard or simply want to learn more about them, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we will compare and contrast boysenberries with blackberries so that you can fully understand both of them as individual plants. We will go over what they look like as well as what they’re typically used for, and what they taste like. Let’s get started and learn all about these two berries now!
Comparing Boysenberry vs Blackberry
|Description||Large and elongated berry in a reddish purple color. Many small drupelets change color as it ripens, and the ripe berries are extremely delicate. Grows on low plants that spread well, and the seeds are delicate when eaten||Rich black colorations and a slightly elongated berry. Composed of many small drupelets and changes color while on the vine. Vines grow along ground, as bushes, and shoots out more upright stems. Many seeds in a single berry, often evident as you chew|
|Uses||Famous at Knott’s Berry Farm for their delicate texture and flavor; used in a number of culinary recipes around the world||Used 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 Zones||5-9; grows on low vines||5-10; grows on a bush|
|Flavor and Texture||Delicate and juicy texture; sweet and tart in equal parts, depending on ripeness||Sour and earthy, with a bit of sweetness. Soft to the touch and juicy, and may stain hands or clothes|
Key Differences Between Boysenberry vs Blackberry
There are many key differences between boysenberries and blackberries. While they are related to one another, boysenberries are a hybrid berry from a number of other varieties, while blackberries are not. In addition, blackberries are darker in color compared to the average red boysenberry. Finally, boysenberries are larger on average compared to the typical blackberry.
Let’s go over all of these differences in more detail now.
Boysenberry vs Blackberry: Classification
There’s no denying the fact that boysenberries and blackberries are related to one another. In fact, they belong to the same plant family, known as Rubus. However, blackberries are considered a true berry for lack of a better term, while boysenberries are a hybrid berry, created from a number of other berries, including blackberries.
Boysenberries are unique in that they are made from blackberries, raspberries, and dewberries, while blackberries are a species on their own. There are a number of varieties of blackberries, including some hybrid options, but boysenberries were specially created out of many different types of berries!
Boysenberry vs Blackberry: Description
It is easier than you think to tell a boysenberry apart from a blackberry. For example, boysenberries are a rich maroon purple color, while blackberries are purplish black in color. The average boysenberry is much longer and larger than the average blackberry. In addition, blackberries grow upward and on bushes, while boysenberries tend to spread along the ground.
Boysenberry vs Blackberry: Uses
Given that they are from the same family, there are many overlaps in the uses of boysenberries compared to the uses of blackberries. Overall, blackberries are more popular, though boysenberries have their own cult following in Southern California. Knott’s Berry Farm is credited with the creation of the boysenberry, and they hold festivals to celebrate this particular berry, year after year!
Given that they are so similar to one another, blackberries and boysenberries can be used in cobblers, pies, tarts, and many other culinary settings. You can also use the leaves on both of these plants in a tea, often used medicinally. Knott’s Berry Farm uses boysenberries in a variety of unique ways for their festival, creating meatballs, cocktails, and much more using the boysenberry!
Boysenberry vs Blackberry: Hardiness Zones
The hardiness zones of the blackberry and boysenberry are similar to one another, though the boysenberry grows in a slightly more complicated climate. For example, blackberries grow in hardiness zones 5 through 10, while boysenberries grow in hardiness zones 5 through 9. Given the fact that there are a number of hardy blackberry varieties out there, they thrive in more locations than the delicate boysenberry.
Interestingly, while the boysenberry was created in Southern California, it does not grow there primarily any longer. It thrives in Oregon and New Zealand, enjoying the climates and weather in these locations. Blackberries also thrive in both of these areas, as these two berry plants grow similarly to one another.
Boysenberry vs Blackberry: Flavor and Texture
There are some undeniable similarities in the flavors of boysenberries and the flavors of blackberries. However, boysenberries are more delicate in their texture compared to blackberries, often containing far fewer seeds.
In addition, boysenberries have a well-balanced tartness and sweetness, while blackberries can be more extreme in either direction. No matter what, both of these berries offer you a tart sweetness that is unique compared to other berry plants, something that you may want to explore in your own backyard!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/PatrikStedrak
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