Yummy Edible Berries

Black Raspberry

Black Raspberry

Can you tell the difference between Raspberries and Blackberries, or Blueberries and Huckleberries. In a few minutes you will know. It can be confusing unless you know just what to look for in these edible berries.

Raspberries are red and Blackberries are Black. Right? Well, NO. Sometimes Raspberries are black and sometimes Blackberries are red. There are also Red Raspberries and Black Raspberries (a different species) – and unripe Blackberries are red. Confusing.

They’re all members of the Rose family, and grow from canes (long stems growing directly from the ground). Blackberry canes have large nasty thorns, are dark colored, and the plants can grow from 6 to 10 feet in height. Red Raspberries, have light colored canes, and more, but smaller, thorns, and only grow to 3 to 5 feet high. Black Raspberries canes are even shorter, and are very pale in color, almost bluish, and the color will rub off.

The berries themselves will show you the difference. If a berry will not easily pick off its stem then it’s not ripe. If it does pick easily, then turn it over and inspect the bottom. Raspberries, either red or black variety, will be hollow. Blackberries will not be hollow and will always have an edible pithy filler, or core,in the center. Also Raspberries have little hairs on the fruit while Blackberries are completely smooth. The taste is also different, but each can range from very sweet to tart.



How about Blueberries and Huckleberries?


blueberries—mullica (Flickr.com)

Well, here again, we have confusion of these wild edible berries. It is commonly believed that blueberries are blue, and huckleberries are black. But neither is true. Called blueberries, whortleberries, bilberries and other names, there are about 20 species of Blueberry ranging from low bush to high bush and blue to black, and even green (when ripe). There are about 40 species of Huckleberries, also with many other names, ranging in color according to species from bright red, through dark purple and black, and into the blues. The sizes and tastes of Blueberries and Huckleberries also varies. The flowers are of both are white to pink and urn or bell-shaped, and appear in the spring in small axillary clusters. Fruits are small, round, shiny berrylike drupes that ripen in late summer. Shrubs are multi-stemmed, slender, and arise from underground rhizomes.


Huckleberries—Nomadic Lass (Flickr.com)


The positive way to tell the difference is to examine the seeds. Blueberries have many small, tiny, soft seeds, while Huckleberries always have TEN large, crunchy seeds. All these berries have small crown shape on the top (the end opposite the stem). It is believed that all berries with a crown are non poisonous (but not necessarily tasty).




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