Berries A-Z List of Berries

Comprehensive Berry Compendium


There are many - many types of berries, they come in a multitude of shapes, sizes, flavors and various cultivars can be grown anywhere from the arctic circle such as cloud berries, well into the tropics.


Home Grown Organic Berries - Book


From a botanical point of view many of the fruits we commonly eat and would never cognizantly equate with berries, are actually classified as berries for scientific purposes. Grapes, bananas and even some melons are classified as berries. Technically any fruit produced from a single flower and containing a single ovary is a berry. However - for culinary and gardening purposes we tend to think of berries as small bite size fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, cranberries and raspberries.

Aggregated Berries

From a laymens point of view any aggregate fruits, which are commonly an edible berry that consists of numerous small multiple drupes is a Raspberry. Blackberries which are not actually Raspberries are actually a distinct berry in their own right. Trying to tell the difference between the two can get you aggravated because they are both aggregated. That is the berries are comprised of multiple small, single seed droplets bound together with microscopic fibers. The individual seed droplets develop around a core, known as the 'rasp'.



When you pick a raspberry it slips off the rasp, leaving it behind. With blackberries, the rasp remains inside the fruit. There are other subtle difference but somewhat irrelevant for our purposes, Raspberries and Blackberries taste similar and have dual uses.

Other 'Rasp' or aggregated type berries include ...

Bayberries comprise roughly 40 different species. The berries somewhat resemble mulberry or raspberry type berries they are sweet and tasty but have a wax like coating which detracts from their value.

Boysenberry - A a cross between a European Raspberry, Blackberry, Dewberry and a Loganberry. Boysenberries grow on low, trailing vine like plants. They have a tart and sugary flavor. Mature berries weep juice freely and decay relatively quickly, which is why they are not commonly found in supermarkets.

Chehalem berries - A cross between Himalayan blackberry and Santiam berry, Santiam is a cross between the California blackberry and the loganberry.

Cloud Berries - An arctic berry closely related to the rose family. Cloud Berry grows in the coldest regions along the arctic circle - Scandanavia and Russia as well as parts of Alaska and Canada.

Dewberries are closely related to Blackberries, they grow on small trailing vine like brambles. They are found growing wild throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere, Old World and New. Dewberries ripen earlier than most blackberries but are somewhat trying to harvest in any quantity due to the thorns and prickles the plants produces.

Kotataberry - A blackberry cultivar bred by the US Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University. Kotata was introduced in 1984 as an improvement on the Marion blackberry. It was bred for enhanced cold tolerance and fruit firmness.

Loganberry - A hybrid produced from crossing blackberry and raspberry cultivars back in 1905. They are more disease and frost resistant than related berries, but never caught on commercially due to the increased labor cost in maintaining and harvesting them. They are popular for smaller farming and home gardening endeavors.

Marionberries - was also developed by the USDA and Oregon State University. It is a cross between the 'Chehalem' and 'Olallie' blackberries.

Mulberries - grow on Morus trees or shrubs, but they are commonly referred to as mulberry trees. There are several varieties and they are commonly found growing wild in the Eastern USA and Canada. Trees can reach 20 ft or more in height but are most commonly shorter. They are also commercially grown but not extensively.

Nagoon berry aka Arctic Raspberry is a Perennial Rasberry / bramble that grows in some pretty cold regions. It's range is not as far north as Cloud Berries, but it has other advantages. It is tediously slow growing but when mature it produces a dark red berry that is considered a delicacy in some areas.

Olallieberries - Correctly 'Olallie' blackberry is another USDA - Oregon State bred berry. It is a cross of loganberries and youngberries.

Raspberries, true Raspberries that is, are diverse and delicious berries with a multitude of uses. They are high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and so forth. Basically like all berries they are really good for the Human body. There are hundreds of varieties and most will not be found in the local grocery, they're not viably marketable due to their soft texture and short shelf life.

Salmonberries - Are naturally produced berries native to the western USA and Canada. They thrive in cooler regions and are found growing wild as far North as the berring sea shore.

Tayberry grows on a shrub , it is a cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry. Tayberries are bigger and sweeter than most similar berries. But like Logan berry and other cultivars it does lend itself to commercial harvesting very well and is more popular amongst small growers and home gardeners.

Wineberry - a variety of Raspberry which frequently grows wild. Native to Japan it now is considered an invasive species in parts of North America and Europe.

Youngberry is a hybridized aggregate berry bred from 3 different species of raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries.



Non - Aggregated Berries

Acai berry pronounced ah-say-ee grows in sub tropical regions on a type of palm, it is native to Central and South America. Acai berries are high in important antioxidants, polyphenols, and phytochemicals which cleanse the blood and combat free radicals. They will not tolerate low temperatures, the optimal average temperature should be around 70 degrees. Grown outside their subtropical range, a green house or suitable indoor environment is necessary. They taste like a very intense and rich blackberry with a hint of cocoa.

Allspice Berry grows on an evergreen shrub in Central America and the West Indies. Outside of its native regions it generally does not bare fruit. It is useful as a flavoring agent and spice and is not eaten as a berry.

Apple Berry aka Sweet apple berry is a vine producing plant native to Australia. It has oval pointed leaves and produces tubular blooms that range from light pink, to bluish-white. The blooms mature into tasty apple berries. Whe fully ripe it has a flavor reminiscent of stewed apples.

Arbutus Berries grow on two related trees that are commonly called strawberry trees. Both produce a similar fruit, Arbutus berries, that look a little like, but taste nothing like a true strawberry. They have a pleasant taste, mildly gritty texture and flavor somewhat like an under ripe mango melded with guava. They can be grown throughout North America.

Acerola also known as West Indian cherry or Barbados cherry is native to South and Central America. It can be grown in the Southern US as well. It is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and nutrients. The berries are bright red and somewhat resemble cherries. They are juicy, slightly acidic and slightly sweet. See Surinam Cherry

Aronia is a type of chokeberry - See Chokeberries.

Barberry also known as Berberis comprises slightly over 400 species. Many produce edible berries. Colors range from blacks and purples to yellows and whites. Some are seedless and some aren't. All varieties are tart to one degree or another - some are so tart that they are best used as ornamentals and some are quite tasty and appealing.

Bearberries comprise 3 species of small shrubs. Alpine, Red and Common bearberry. They are edible, but bland and mealy. They are not domesticated but wild as there is no real demand for them.

Beauty Berry aka American Beauty berry is not toxic, but some people have reported adverse reactions and nausea after eating them. Perhaps they ate under ripe berries and became ill as one would after eating a green apple or perhaps they misidentified what they were eating. Preserves are commonly made from them and they are commonly eaten raw as well. They aren't the best berry I've ever tasted , nor the worst but they are a pleasant culinary diversion similar to a mild elderberry with a flowery taste. The berries are more pit than flesh but worth growing for their aesthetic appeal alone. The jelly made from them, once the flavor is enhanced is delicious, but be sure to remove the seeds.

Bilberries are a distinct species closely related to blueberries. It is a Eurasian native, and in some local languages its name translates to 'blueberry'. The bilberry is basically an Old World Blueberry version of the Blueberry.One major botanical difference between blueberries and bilberries is that bilberries produce single berries on the bush as opposed to clusters like blueberries. Bilberries are more difficult to grow than blueberries and not as productive, they are most commonly harvested wild.

Blueberries are one of the most recently domesticated crops we grow, and one of the most common berries. Franklin Coville of the USDA began collecting wild plants in the early 1900s and crossing them to get higher quality berries and more productive plants. They can be at times difficult to grow as they have some unusual cultural requirements, but when successfully grown they produce abundant harvests. In the 1970s the USDA developed the Pink Lemonade Blueberry which is not a distinct species from a botanical point of view, but differs significantly from standard blueberry varieties for novelty and culinary purposes.

Buffalo Berries aka Shepherdia and Bull Berry grow wild throughout the American West but primarily the Great Plains region. The berries are large and dark red they can be eaten raw but are sour enough to make you pucker up, sometimes bitter as well. They are best used for Human consumption in preserves and baked goods. Researchers collected wild buffaloberries in the Dakotas and discovered them to be rich in an antioxidant that lowers the risk of certain cancers. They also discovered pigments known as carotenoids which have additional health benefits. The compounds responsible for their tartness is believed to play a role in slowing cellular aging and warding off cancer. [1]

Bunch Berry aka Canadian bunchberry, crackerberry, creeping dogwood. The roundish berries begin green, maturing to bright cherry red in late summer, They are fairly small averaging less than 1/4 inch in diameter. They have a pleasant mild flavor similar to apples. Botanically they are classified as a stone fruit, but for the purpose of gardening and culinary arts we classify them with berries.

Calafate berry hails from Patagonia, the southern tip of South America. The berries, classified as a type of barberry grow on a short evergreen shrub. The shrub itself is laden with short sharp thorns which can make harvesting a cumbersome nuisance, but it still grown commercially despite this. The berries are economically significant in their native lands, they taste good too. They are juicy and somewhat like a blueberry in appearance, being rounded and blue-black sometimes purplish. They taste something like a mild black currant with a hint of fermented wine.

Chocolate Berry aka Himalayan Honeysuckle is a rare berry. Its tastes is reminiscent of semi sweet chocolate with a hint of caramel. It grows on an evergreen shrub that produces cane like stems averaging 4 to 6 feet in height. Very cold hardy plant although it will not survive in arctic or Alaskan winters it will do just fine as far north as zone 3 and as far south as zone 7. It is not heat tolerant.

Chokeberries, also known as Aronia and chokecherries are related to roses. The chokeberry genus is actually 3 distinctly different, but related species. They are grown as ornamental plants as well as for food. The term "choke" refers to the tartness of the fruit. They are classified as "astringent".


Cowberry - See Lingon Berry

Cranberries are well known, but very commonly cultivated by home gardeners although they can be. They grow on an evergreen ground cover plant native to North America and most varieties require an expansive spread to prosper and produce.

Crowberry aka black crowberry and Alaska blackberry [Not remotely related to true blackberries] grows in subarctic regions subarctic areas throughout Canada, Alska and Northern Europe - variations and related species are also found in the south arctic regions such as the Falkland Islands and Patagonia. They grow on an evergreen shrub that produces these relatively dry black and rounded berries. Their vitamin content is nowhere near that of most berries, it is fairly low and it produces very little juice. It is unpalatable raw , its taste is acidic and bitter. It is used as a food source when cooked or preserved in various modes.

Currants, Black currants, Red currants, white currants and all the sub categories thereof are closely related to gooseberries. The tastes of various varieties differs from tart and tangy to sweet and succulent and there are many natural varieties and hybrids.

Farkleberries grow on a small shrub native to the South western USA. They are related to blueberries and huckleberries. The berries are tasteless and best left to the birds although some people harvest them from the wild for use in preserves.

Goji Berries also known as wolf berries are a perennial that can be grown in Zones 3 to 10. Tolerant of most temperature extremes, goji can survive winters well into the negative numbers. The berries are considered a super food, some say they are a little bitter in taste but generally sweet enough to eat and enjoy raw.

Goose Berries come from several different plant species, American gooseberry and European gooseberry. The American Gooseberry is native to North eastern USA and southern Canada. The original gooseberry is the European gooseberry which was bred with American cultivars by early settlers.

Goumi Berry is an East Asian berry that grows on small trees / shrubs that reach anywhere from 5 to 10 feet in height. They are actually a stone fruit about the size of a cherry. The berries are juicy and somewhat tart when picked at the peak of perfection. If eaten unripe or over ripe they are extremely astringent. As there is only a short window of opportunity for harvesting these berries frugal gardeners preserves them in pastries, pies, jelly and jam, fruit leathers and so on.

Hackberry , common hackberry also known as sugarberry, northern hackberry, beaverwood, and American hackberry produces small berries that are a favorite of birds. They tree is very large trees and can reach 80 - 100 feet in height - wow . They are very sweet and scrumptious but require a lot of work to harvest. Both the berry and its stone or pit are edible. The pit is ground up and used as a seasoning or roasted like chestnuts as a delicacy.

Honey Berry, or blueberry honey suckle has a hint of Raspberry, a hint of blueberry and a tiny tad of tartness like black currants. The plants average 4 - 5 ft tall, sometimes over 6 ft. and are hardy and frost tolerant. A mature healthy plant produces from 5-7 lbs. of berries.

Huckleberries are similar to blueberries - In North America the name 'huckle berry' refers to several plants with small blue or black berries, some are reddish. In some areas huckle berries are referred to as blueberries, it is believed the blueberry has huckle berry in its ancestry . For all intensive purposes they are basically wild blueberries. Many are sweet and tasty and similar to blueberries while other huckleberries have an astringent or very tart taste and are best left for birds and bunnies, or used in preserves and baked goods.

The Indian Plum looks exactly like a miniature plum. As the berries ripen they morph from from a salmon color to a deep purplish-black. When fully ripe the berries are juicy with a mild taste. Other names include Osoberry, Oregon plum, Indian peach, and bird cherry. It grows from Southwest British Columbia down through California. It does not perform well in full sun and prefers the shade such as that found in forested areas.

Jaltomato berries are slightly larger than blueberries but related to tomatoes, they are in the nightshade family. By the way tomatoes technically speaking are berries also. It tastes like a mix between tomatoes and grapes. Not anything to write home about when eaten raw, it's 'Okay' but nothing spectacular. When cooked it is outstanding as it melds well with other fruits and vegetables. They are virtually identical to Wonder Berry.

Jostaberry, pronounced 'Yooster Berry' is a cross between 2 varieties of Gooseberry and Black Currants. The parent plants are the Black currant, the North American coastal black gooseberry, and the European gooseberry. This Botanical menage a trois was done in Germany in the 1970s and never took hold commercially as they can not be harvested profitably on a large enough scale. For home gardeners they work just fine.

June Berries are very similar to blueberries, but the taste is somewhat different. The flavor is similar to black cherries with a subtle nut taste. They are more closely related to service berries aka shadbush.

Juniper Berries grow on an evergreen - the juniper bush, which is a cypress relative. Many are not palatable. They are more commonly used in medicines and are used to make Gin. Juniper berries are actually more closely related to pine cones than berries, in fact they can be considered super miniaturized pine cones. They can be eaten fresh or preserved via drying or another method.

Kiwi Berry are basically miniature kiwis, about the size of a grape. Unlike standard kiwis they have a smooth fuzz free skin which is edible just as a grapes skin is. Also known as Hardy kiwifruit, arctic kiwi, baby kiwi, grape kiwi, and cocktail kiwi, these delicious little berries grow on a perennial vine native to North East Asia.

The Lemonade Berry aka lemonade sumac is indigenous to Southern California and is generally found growing wild and gathered by foraging. They can also be cultivated in zones 8 - 10. Seeds are best started indoors or in cold frames. They can be grown in pots for several seasons before dedicating them a spot of their own. They can also be grown from hardwood cuttings taken from wild specimens or via Chip Grafting.

Lilly Pilly also Known as Riberries are indigenous to Southeast Asia, Australia and the Indian Ocean region as far west as Madagascar. They are unique from nearly all other berries in both taste and texture. The berries are pear shaped with a pink -red skin sometimes red-brown or purple and roughly the size of a cherry. They have been described as similar to figs, pears and at times apples with a tartness similar to cranberry. When fully or over-ripe there is a faint after-taste reminiscent of cloves.

Lingonberry aka Ligonberry, cowberry, or foxberry is related to cranberries and blueberries. It grows in some very cold regions and the plant itself is a semi evergreen. It retains its green foliage throughout the winter. The plants thrive in acidic soils with a pH range of 4.5 to 5.5. Anything above 5.8 is potentially lethal to the lingonberry plant. The berries are about the size of a big blueberry, but reddish in color, the taste is similar to cranberries.

Luma is related to myrtle berry, in fact it is also known as Chilean myrtle. It is indigenous to Chile and Argentina in South America. Luma trees / shrubs are slow growing evergreens, once fully mature they attain a stature of around 25 to 30 feet. The edible berries ripen in the fall, they are purple black, slightly less than a half inch round. See Also Myrtle Berry [Below]

May apple is edible in small amounts only, when consumed in large amounts it is poison. Mayapple contains high levels of a toxic substance scientifically known as podophyllotoxin, which is used in the pharmaceutical Industry.

Miracle Berry - contains very little natural sugar and produce a mildly sweet tangy taste just a tiny tingle of tartness is detectable. One of the unusual characteristics of this berry is that it causes a difference in our taste perceptions after we eat it. Sour foods such as lemons and limes will taste sweet. This is caused by a carbohydrate found in the berry known as miraculin which adheres to your taste buds and creates the effect. It blocks the receptors which detect the sourness of some foods and in turn the receptors that detect sweetness are activated. The effect will generally last about 1/2 hour

Mountain cranberry is another name for bearberries. See Bear Berries

Myrtle berry shrubs are frequently used for ornamental purposes in contemporary landscapes and it is easy to see why. They are very similar to blueberries in appearance, with the myrtle being slightly more elongated. As an edible berry, they are useful in many culinary delights such as Liqueurs, Desserts, Teas and Preserves. Over their extended history they have been used by multiple cultures for a variety of purposes which include seasonings, aromatherapy and medicinal. Dried it is sometimes used as a substitute for pepper, such as Corsican pepper.

Nannyberry is a North American Native sometimes referred to as wild raisin. It is best harvested when it begins to wrinkle like a raisin, which is where the wild raisin moniker came from. If picked too early, the taste can be disappointing. They are not commonly cultivated and more frequently found in the wild throughout the Midwest and great lakes region.

Oregon Grapes are not really grapes at all, they just resemble gapes in the way the berries grow in tightly clustered bunches. They are more closely related to barberry. They are native to Western North America and are prized not only for their edible berries, but their colorful blooms and aesthetically appealing foliage. The small purple berries are tart but tasty with large seeds.They are eaten as is or used to make preserves, juices and wine.


Otricoli Orange Berry - A very unusual Nightshade plant, related to tomatoes and eggplant. The small berries are bright orangeand produces prolifically. Taste is like a tart tomato. Some people have sensitivities to this species - Do not eat under ripe berries that still have any hint of green. Do not eat ripe berries if they have a bitter taste. Eat only one or two at a time till you are certain they will not bother you.

Rose hips are the fruit of the rose plant, generally a red-to-orange, but sometimes a purplish black. Rose hips form after the flowers have been pollinated and ripen in late summer and early fall. They are most commonly used for preserves, syrups and teas and not eaten raw although they can be. They are very high in vitamin and have a very tart and tangy flavor, however some varieties are quite bland and tasteless. Rose hips of the variety known as "Rosa rugosa" are generally the best and most abundantly produced. Wild Rose hips differ slightly, they are oval and deep red. Like the domesticated roses, the berry or Rose hip contains small hard hairy seeds which can cause irritation to the mouth, throat and your innards especially when eaten before fully ripe. They are however tasty - sweet and citrusy with a hint of cranberry tartness. Unripe wild rose hips are more tart and harder than ripe ones. They are not commonly cultivated and usually obtained via foraging.

Rowan Berries, sometimes called mountain ash grows on a small shrub / tree. They are not widely cultivated and more commonly acquired via foraging. They are mildly toxic only if eaten in large quantities which no sane person would do as they are very bitter when raw. They do however make excellent preserves and wines. They also many herbal / medicinal qualities.

Salal Berries - Gaultheria Shallon. The edible berries are purple black and similar to blueberries in appearance. As the berries ripen they open a tad, they are best when picked before they reach this stage. Salal is remotely reminiscent of blueberries so far as taste is concerned, although they would never mistake one for the other once tasted, salal is pleasantly unique. It is a shade loving plant which thrives naturally in dense forests. In landscape scenarios it is commonly placed successfully in shaded areas of the yard where other plants can not survive.

Schisandra aka Chinese magnolia vine produces small clusters of delicate creamy white flowers in mid spring followed by edible crimson red berries. I'd like to say they are delectable and tasty but they are not, they are friggin weird, although not over overpoweringly unpleasant they're simply bizarre and not comparable to any other fruit I am aware of. In its native China it is referred to as Wu Wei Zi which translates to '5 flavored berry'. The taste is a poignant meld of sweet and sour with bitter and salty, what 5th flavor the Chinese detect is unbeknownst to me. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for Centuries and many modern herbalists have incorporated it into their venue.

Seaberries aka sea buckthorn is a little known European Berry. It is very hardy and grows on almost any soil type. It is drought-tolerant once established. Seaberries are hardy in zones 3 - 7, they are a tad tart, reminiscent of citrus in taste and composition. They are the size of a large blueberry and and are used by Europeans as a substitute for Orange Juice.

Service Berries are a native North American tree / shrub that grows just about anywhere, there are many regional variations. They can thrive just about anywhere in the USA and southern Canada. They cross breed and hybridize readily, so their identification is sometimes difficult.

Saskatoon berries are a variety of service berries.

Sherbet Berry hails from Southern Asia where it is referred to as Phalsa or Falsa. The fruits are roughly 1/2 inch round, sometimes a tad larger. Berries are purple black once fully ripe. Slightly tart with a grape taste, some say they sense a hint of sherbet hence its name. In zones 8 through 11 it is easily grown. It will tolerate a light frost but is not drought tolerant. Does well as a potted plant in cooler regions.

Snotty Gobbles aka Manjack, is a tasty edible berry indigenous to India, although some variations are found in other parts of the world including the Carribean and Australia. Other names it goes by include glue berry, anonag , pink pearl and Indian Cherry. The flesh of the ripe berries are very jelly like, like glue or their other moniker 'snotty' it has a simple and sweet taste. Unripe it is tart but palatably so.

Snowberries grow on a shrub that reaches about 3 feet high and 6 feet in girth. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, however the attractive white berries are POISONOUS to people, although some wildlife eat it.

Strawberries - Unless you are from Mars or somewhere else way out there you already know what a strawberry is, so it shouldn't need an introduction. See Growing Strawberries.

Strawberry Spinach is an annual edible native North American plant. It produces Spinach , as well as edible berries. The berries are mildly sweet, not quite as sweet as raspberry or strawberry. Their mild sweetness serves well in salads and as an ingredient in many recipes. It is not well suited to preserves such as Jelly and Jam.

Surinam Cherry grows on a small shrub reaching only 5 - 6 feet at most, and will tolerate most soil types. It will not tolerate salt marshy areas, cold or full shade. It is actually a stone fruit not a berry, having a single seed or pit encased in a fruity ovary which is the part we eat salaciously. Most resemble a tiny pumpkin while others are black and purple.

Waxberry also known as Yangmei. Its Latin botanical name is 'Myrica rubra'. They are related to bayberries and some cultivars are called Chinese Bay Berry. Waxberry fruit is spherical deep red to purple with a pitted rough exterior. The exterior is somewhat similar to arbutus berry aka Strawberry Trees in appearance but not taste. The inside flesh is tart and succulent with a lighter reddish hue. The berries contain a large single seed in the center.

Whortleberry - See Bilberry ^

Wintergreen Berries aka checker berry or tea berry grows on vines throughout Canada and the northern USA. The berries have a winter green taste, the foliage of this plant can be lethal if ingested but the berries are edible and most commonly used to make a wintergreen tea.

Sugar Berry which grows in the Southern USA is a type of hackberry

Yangmei Berry aka yumberry is an Oriental rarity, it is a variety of Arbutus Berry, North American varieties grow on "Strawberry Trees". See Waxberry ^




Related

Berries are Super Foods

Note

1. Tiny Berry Is Being Called The Next Superfruit


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