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Blackberry (1)

Blackberries are an aggregate fruit formed from a number of attached drupelets, typeically in a cone-like shape. Blackberries differ from raspberries in that, among other things, the berry is not hollow. Because of this, blackberries and black raspberries are distinct fruits.

Blackberries

In the Spring, new canes shoot up from the ground and leaf out. Each cane lives for two years. On primocane-fruiting varieties the cane produces fruit near its tip the first year, then along the lower half the second. For floricane-fruiting varieties there is no fruit the first year, and then fruit along the entire cane the second.

Varieties

Blueberry (1)

Blueberry plants are upright bushes that produce small to medium sized dark blue berries. They are native to North America. Blueberries are excellent eaten fresh when fully ripe and make fantastic pies, syrups, and smoothies.

Varieties

Currant (4)

Currants are bushes that grow strigs of small blueberry-sized berries that are sweet tart when ripe. There are two main kinds of currants: red and black. Red currants come in several colors such as red, pink, or white and have a milder flavor. Black currants range from dark purple to jet black and have a unique musky scent in both their leaves and berries. All currants require about 1000 - 1200 chill hours to break dormancy and produce fruit.

Different kinds of currants

Currants are very popular in Europe, but hardly available commercially in the U.S. due mostly to a federal ban on growing them enacted in 1920. In 1966 the federal ban was lifted, however it is still banned to grow currants in some states because they are an alternate host for white pine blister rust.

Currants can be eaten fresh when fully ripe and make excellent jams, jellies, and juice.

Ribes is a little bushe … and in the tops … are red berries in clusters in taste at the first somethinge sower but pleasant enough when they are fully ripe.

William Turner, 1568

Varieties

Gooseberry (3)

Gooseberries are bushes that grow blueberry to grape-sized berries with their own unique flavor that are sweet tart when ripe. The berries have visible veins and range in color from green, blushed pink, red, purple, and even black or white. The bushes have thorns but some varieties have few or small thorns, while for others the berries are far enough from the branches to make picking easier. The bushes live and produce berries for 25 years and sometimes more! All gooseberries require about 1000 - 1200 chill hours to break dormancy and produce fruit.

Different kinds of gooseberries

Gooseberries are very popular in Europe, but hardly available commercially in the U.S. due mostly to a federal ban on growing them enacted in 1920. In 1966 the federal ban was lifted, however it is still banned to grow gooseberries in some states because they are an alternate host for white pine blister rust.

Gooseberries can be eaten fresh when fully ripe and make excellent jams, jellies, and pies.

Varieties

Honeyberry (6)

Honeyberry bushes are an edible blue honeysuckle with a circumpolar range in the northern hemisphere and are well-known in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Japan while gaining popularity in the United States & Canada as well.

Among the first plants to bloom and produce fruit very early in the season, Honeyberries are also extremely cold-hardy, can tolerate some shade, do not require acidic soil, and live for 50+ years. Most varieties require a different variety in the same area for pollination.

Honeyberry diversity by Bob Bors

The berries are 1-3cm long with a color like a blueberry brushed grey. They taste sweet when fully ripe, but most turn blue well before being ripe. When picked too early they are sour. Ripe berries are delicious eaten fresh and can be substituted for blueberries in recipes.

Varieties

Jostaberry (1)

Jostaberries (pronounced “yostaberries”) are bushes that grow clusters of small to medium berries that are sweet tart when ripe. First released in 1977, they are a tetraploid complex cross of the black currant R. nigrum, the North American coastal black gooseberry R. divaricatum, and the European gooseberry R. uva-crispa. Developed in Germany, the name is from the German words “Johannisbeere” (currant) and “Stachelbeere” (gooseberry). Today several different varieties are available.

Jostaberries can be eaten fresh when fully ripe and make excellent jams, jellies, and juice.

Varieties

Raspberry (7)

Raspberries are an aggregate fruit formed from a number of attached drupelets, typically in a cone-like shape. Raspberries differ from blackberries in that, among other things, the berry is hollow.

Red and yellow raspberries

Like mint, the plants can spread aggressively via underground roots. In the Spring, new canes shoot up from the ground and leaf out. Each cane lives for two years. On primocane-fruiting raspberries the cane produces fruit near its tip the first year, then along the lower half the second. For floricane-fruiting raspberries there is no fruit the first year, and then fruit along the entire cane the second.

Raspberries come in many shapes, sizes, and colors including red, pink, yellow, and black.

Varieties

Rhubarb (2)

While technically a vegetable because the stems are harvested and eaten, Rhubarb is often grown with berries because its sweet and sour flavor pairs well with fruit, particularly strawberries.

Rhubarb leaves are high in oxalic acid and are poisenous in large doses. It is recommended to never consume the leaves; only eat the stems.

Varieties

Strawberry (2)

Strawberry plants are small forbs with a crown that grows shoots for leaves, flowers and fruit. The strawberry itself is an aggregate accessory fruit and what most people consider the “seeds” on the outside of the berry are actually the true botanical fruits. Strawberries come in a variety of colors from red to deep red, yellow and white. Production of berries depends on the type: june-bearing, everbearing, or day-neutral.

Strawberry varieties

June bearing strawberries produce one large crop in June. The rest of the year they do not produce berries. Everbearing varieties produce two main crops, one in summer and one in the fall with a few berries in between. Day-neutral strawberries produce fruit continuously from spring until frost. Most cultivated varieties produce a similar total amount of fruit, the main difference is how spread out the production is. June-bearing types can be great for preserves, while day-neutral types are good for a constant supply of berries.

Strawberries are excellent eaten fresh when fully ripe and make fantastic jams and smoothies.

Varieties

Berry Harvest Calendar

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecBlackberryPrime ArPrime ArBlueberryUnknownCurrantPink ChaPrimusRed LakeSlitsaGooseberryBlack VeHinnomakJeanneHoneyberryBlue ForBlue VelBorealisTundraYezberryYezberryJostaberryJostaberRaspberryCarolineCarolineCrimson Crimson Double GDouble GFall GolFall GolHeritageHeritageNiwotNiwotPolanaPolanaRhubarbCrimson VictoriaStrawberryOzark BeOzark BeSeascapeDates are for Seattle, WA | Download plant data file