Black Raspberry

Rubus occidentalis

Herbs gallery - Black Raspberry

Common names

  • Bear's Eye Blackberry
  • Black Cap
  • Black Raspberry
  • Scotch Cap
  • Virginian Raspberry
  • Western Raspberry

Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) is a relatively rarely cultivated fruit shrub. Meanwhile, it is worth appreciating the health and nutritional properties of black raspberries, whose fruits have strong anti-cancer and antibacterial properties. They are also a valuable source of vitamins and minerals and have 5 times higher antioxidant content than traditional red raspberries.

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Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis), also sometimes referred to as western raspberry, is a berry shrub from North America, closely related to the much more popular red raspberries and blackberries. All these shrubs belong to one genus Rubus.

When ripe, black raspberry fruits are first red, and when fully ripe they become almost completely black. They are covered with a clearly noticeable coating. What distinguishes them from traditional red raspberries is not only their black color, but also their unique health and nutritional properties.

It is worth noting that black raspberries have a slightly different taste than traditional red raspberries. Its fruits are characterized by an intense, slightly sour taste, which is often described as more expressive. Black raspberries also have a characteristic dark purple color, which is the result of the presence of anthocyanins, natural pigments found in the fruit.

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It is definitely worth knowing the properties of black raspberries that make it a super food. It is also worth paying attention to the bactericidal properties of black raspberry, whose fruits limit the growth of bacteria that cause pneumonia, stomach ulcers and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Interestingly, black raspberry fruits also contain compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, acting similarly to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

Due to the content of antioxidants and flavonoids, black raspberries remove free radicals from the body, prevent the aging process and reduce the risk of common civilization diseases. They improve vision and memory, and also lower blood pressure. Fruits have a beneficial effect on blood vessels, which become more flexible.

The healing properties of black raspberries are based primarily on the very high content of anthocyanins, which are 5 times more than in red raspberries. Anthocyanins help remove free radicals from the body, thus preventing the degradation of cell membranes and various lifestyle diseases. Black raspberry fruits have anti-cancer properties, limiting, among others, development of prostate, large intestine or colon cancer.

The nutritional values of black raspberries are related to the high content of vitamins C and E and macro elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Black raspberry fruits also contain high concentrations of copper and iron, so they can support the treatment of anemia.

All these valuable properties of black raspberry make it worth having this shrub on your backyard and enjoying the benefits of its fruit.

Black raspberries contain twice as many antioxidants with anti-cancer and rejuvenating properties as red raspberries.

Black raspberry - as scientific research proves - is ahead of all berries in terms of antioxidant potential.

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Culinary uses

Black raspberries are not only tasty, but also very versatile in the kitchen. They are suitable both for direct consumption and for preparing various preserves. You can squeeze juice from them, make jams or use them as decorations for cakes and desserts. In the food industry, black raspberry juice is also used as a dye of natural origin.

Black raspberry is a great base for a healthy juice or jam. Black raspberry juice contains many medicinal properties of this fruit; in particular it provides the body with many vitamins. Black raspberry juice should be diluted with lukewarm water, as hot water would reduce the health-promoting effects of nutrients.

You can also choose dried raspberries, which can be eaten directly or prepare an infusion from them (pour warm water over the fruit). They are also perfect for desserts (cakes, mousses) or healthy cocktails.

Habitat and cultivation

The cultivation requirements of black raspberries are very similar to those of traditional red raspberries, which bear fruit on two-year-old shoots. The plant should be provided with a sunny position, it can be gentle slopes, as well as plains, preferably sheltered from the winds. The soil should be fertile and moist, but adequately airy and slightly acidic. On too heavy, compacted soils, these fruit bushes yield less and are susceptible to raspberry diseases.

Growing black raspberries is best when planted in a row next to wires or a fence, because its shoots are very long (up to 4 meters in the "Bristol" variety) and require tying to supports.

Growing black raspberries in your home garden is a great way to enjoy these tasty fruits year after year. However, in order to get the most yield from your crops, it is important to follow the rules of proper cultivation and care of these plants.

Black raspberry seedlings can be purchased at reputable nurseries or gardening stores. You can also easily propagate it if you already have a few bushes of your own. Planting black raspberries is best done in early spring or late autumn. The most favorable period for quick adaptation of seedlings is March or the period from the end of September to the end of October. Please remember that young black raspberry is a plant that is poorly resistant to sudden temperature drops and severe frosts.

Good location and soil type are important for successful black raspberry cultivation. Choose a sunny or partially shaded location. Don't plant them near wild raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes or strawberries, which can spread the disease to them. Black raspberries are self-pollinating, which means that a single plant can bear fruit.

Seedlings like well-drained soil, so choose a location that is not clayey. When planting, mix compost or manure into the soil. Plant the seedlings preferably in a row at a distance of one meter from each other. Make sure you have access to all sides of the plant, which will make it easier to prune and harvest the fruit later.

Remember that black raspberries grow tall (up to 4 meters), so it is advisable to place them near mesh fences, pergolas or install special supports that will support the plant. It is best to install them at the time of planting.

In order for black raspberries to bear abundant fruit, they must not only be carefully trimmed, but also ensured that they are watered and fertilized. Water the bushes regularly during warmer, rainless or windy summer months. Black raspberries need about 10 liters of water a week, but avoid spraying the plant from above during fruiting, as this contributes to the fruit rotting.

In early spring, before the first growth appears, it is worth spreading an organic or mineral fertilizer matched to the type of soil. Cover the plants with a 5-10 cm thick layer of compost each fall to strengthen the soil and support spring growth. It is also worth controlling weeds that deprive berry plants of nutrients. A good solution is to spread about 10 cm of straw or wood shavings around the plants.

Adult cuttings can be successfully used to obtain a new plant. The reproduction of black raspberries is most effective when the two-year-old shoots, after fruiting, bend towards the ground and are covered with a layer of 2-3 cm of fertile soil. Then, after about 2-4 weeks, they will start to sprout. Well-rooted plants can be separated from the main bush in October or March and planted elsewhere.

Black raspberries are easy to grow, but pruning is essential if you want to harvest a lot of fruits. If you don't do this, the plants will look wild, take up more space and lose their ability to bear large fruit.

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