Animals

11+ Popular Types of Berries: How to Grow, Taste Profiles, and Best Use for Each

According to science, watermelons, tomatoes, and eggplants are all berries. However, the average person only knows berries as pulpy, edible fruits that are small enough to fit in your hand. Although some of these delicious delights are tangy or sour, most of them are sweet. The most popular berries are right here!

1. Strawberries

The garden strawberry, which is a member of the genus Fragaria, is arguably the most well-known of all berries. These fruits are adored by people for their aroma, sweetness, and beauty. Wild strawberries have been consumed since ancient times, but strawberries were originally domesticated from them in France in the 1700s. They are abundant in manganese and vitamin C.

When the berries are glossy and plump, then is the time to buy them. As long as the one you want still has its green frill, don’t discard it because the tip is pale. Just before hulling the fruit, wash it. Some chefs contend that cooking strawberries other than to make jam is never a good idea.

2. Huckleberries, blueberries, and bilberries

All of these berries belong to the Vaccinium genus. While blueberries and huckleberries are indigenous to North America, bilberries are indigenous to Europe. But nowadays, people all over the world are growing them. A few varieties of huckleberries belong to the Gaylussacia genus.

Blueberries can be found on shrubs that are between 4 inches and 13 feet tall. They flourish in acidic, damp soil. Highbush blueberries are grown, whereas lowbush blueberries are found in the wild.

A ripe blueberry has a deep blue color with a bloom on it. These berries have a slight acidity and are sweet. The berry can be harvested anywhere from early spring to late summer, depending on where the shrub is planted. Blueberries work well in pies, jams, and jellies just like strawberries do. Alternatively, you may sprinkle them on top of cereal, bake them in muffins, or just eat them straight out of the bag. They also freeze wonderfully, allowing you to store them for a long time. The berries should be placed on a metal pan and placed in the freezer to prevent them from sticking together. Transfer them to a plastic bag after that. Low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and rich in vitamins C and K are blueberries.

Bilberries resemble blueberries in appearance, but they feature a crater-like depression at the bottom of the fruit. Unlike blueberries, which grow in clusters, they develop one or two at a time on the stem. They might seem black with crimson or purple pulp and are slightly darker than blueberries in color. The blueberry’s pulp is green.

Huckleberries come in red, black, or blue hues. Huckleberries thrive in volcanic soil and even made it through Mount Saint Helens’ 1980 eruption! They resemble blueberries, albeit they might be a little tarter.

3. Raspberries

As evidenced by the profusion of white blossoms that appear in the spring and give way to the fruit, raspberries are members of the Rubus genus and are related to the rose. The blackberry and its close relative can be identified from one another by their stems and color. While picking raspberries, the stem does not come away with the fruit like it does when picking blackberries. The raspberry is left with a hole running down the center. Blackberries are a purple-black color as well. Raspberries come in red, purple, or yellow hues. Even white raspberries exist, but they spoil quickly. In fact, gardening experts advise using raspberries as soon as possible after picking them.

Raspberries readily cross with other Rubus genus members and are the basis of the delectable liqueur framboise. Gardeners advise against planting raspberries and blackberries too close to one another because of this.

Because they are hardy plants, raspberries may flourish in zones 3 to 9. During the winter, when the canes are dormant, they are frequently planted. They require full sunlight, healthy soil that is slightly acidic to neutral, well-drained, and well-drained. Raspberry plants have a tendency to be aggressive and appear as weeds in the garden. They are still welcomed by some individuals because of the fruit. Vitamin C, polyphenols, dietary fiber, and manganese are all abundant in raspberries. Teas can be made from their leaves.

4. Blackberries and Dewberries

For thousands of years, this Rubus species has been consumed by people. It is a component of jellies, jams, pies, cobblers, crumbles, and crisps. It is consumed raw and is made into blackberry brandy. The blackberry is rich in vitamin K and C, dietary fiber, and manganese, just like its cousin the raspberry. Omega 3 fatty acid-rich seeds are another component of blackberries. Some people don’t like blackberry desserts because the seeds are too bothersome.

A blackberry plant must grow for at least two years before it begins to bear fruit. It spends its first year developing a primocane, which is a long cane. This cane can be up to 30 feet long and can be either upright or trailing. The cane transforms into a floricane in its second year and begins to produce the plant’s lovely white flowers. If the blackberry bushes are a thicket, it may be difficult to collect the fruit from these floricanes since blackberries have sharp prickles that may rip through clothing. The blackberry can be invasive, just like the raspberry.

Dewberries are similar to blackberries, however unlike blackberries, they trail over the ground, are smaller, and are dull rather than shining. They are tasty and contain fewer seeds than blackberries, but they are delicate and difficult to harvest. Dewberries are seedless, so those who dislike them can still enjoy sweets that contain them.

Rubus Berry Crosses

These berries are hybrids of various Rubus varieties. James Logan created Loganberries, which are a mix between a raspberry and a blackberry. They have a taste that is tarter than a blackberry but softer than a raspberry. The Rudolph Boysen-inspired Boysenberry is a hybrid between the raspberry and the youngberry (the B.M. Young-inspired Youngberry is a combination of a dewberry, a blackberry, and a raspberry)! The Tayberry, a mix between a red raspberry and a blackberry, is another hybrid that bears the name of Scotland’s River Tay.

5. Currants

The Ribes genus includes the red, black, and white varieties of currants. Unlike the rose-like blossoms of the Rubus fruits, which are located on deciduous shrubs, their flowers are yellowish-green and unassuming. On racemes, however, the berries dangle like little grapes. Red currants are somewhat sour, therefore those who enjoy them often eat them with cream and sugar, create jam, compotes, puddings, or Cumberland sauce out of them. During the holidays, this sauce is poured over ham or venison. The main component in Linzer torte is red currants.

The soil doesn’t matter to the black currant shrub as long as it’s fertile and wet but not soggy. Drought is intolerable to it. The shrub can withstand freezing temperatures, however frosts can reduce fruit production. This fruit is also known as cassis, and it is used to make the liqueur of the same name. Additionally, purees, jams, and jellies are prepared from it. The black currant is sour, therefore in addition to sweet dishes, it is frequently served with fish and game.

The white currant is actually a red currant cultivar that is lighter in color, and it has a sweeter flavor. As a result, white currants are also consumed raw and are a key component of Lorraine jelly. These currants favor cooler temperatures and slightly acidic to neutral soil.

Phytochemicals and Vitamin C are abundant in currants.

6. Gooseberries

You might be surprised to realize how closely related gooseberries and currants are. They both belong to the genus Ribes. In the form of balls, these berries can be green, gold, orange, black, purple, or red. They can be smooth or fuzzy, transparent or have thick skin. They have an edge over almost all of the other berries since you can eat them while they’re still unripe. They do survive longer when plucked a little early and are at their best when just a little sour.

The gooseberry bush prefers soil that is fertile, wet, and well-drained. Although it may tolerate moderate shade, it thrives in direct sunlight. Bush planting is best done in the early spring or late fall. In the spring, mulch them and provide them with compost or rotting manure. As gooseberry bushes have thorns, the shrub needs to be clipped to maintain air flowing through the center and to make it simpler to pluck the berries.

Pies are created from gooseberries, which are also famously used to make wine. They are pickled, dried, and made into a syrup that is drizzled over apple pies.

7. Goji Berries

Goji berries (of the Lycium genus) are related to the potato, tomato, and eggplant as members of the nightshade family. The leaves and branches of the goji berry are edible, in contrast to these other nightshades. These berries are indigenous to Asia and are used both as food and traditional medicine. Due to Lycium’s resemblance to the Greek word for wolf, it is often referred to as the wolfberry.

The berry develops on bushes that reach heights of three to twelve feet. They thrive in full sun and slightly alkaline soil. Avoid planting in acidic soils and poorly draining clayey soils. Goji berry bushes can be grown from seeds, but you’ll have more success if you start with a plant. In the spring, the bush produces gorgeous purple, green, or cream blooms, and a month later, the fruits start to show up.

According to legend, goji berries provide amazing health advantages. There is even a myth that claims a Chinese guy who consumed goji berries daily lived to be 256 years old. However, there is no proof that goji berries offer unusual health advantages. It’s just a healthy fruit to eat! The majority of goji berries you’ll find in shops are dried and marketed as raisins.

8. Cloudberries

Cloudberries, another species of the Rubus genus, also flourish where lingonberries do. As far north as the Arctic Circle, they can be found. Because it is dioecious, the cloudberry deviates from the norm for a member of its genus. This means that for berries to be produced, a male plant and a female plant must be put close to one another.

The ground cover cloudberry plant has a height range of 4 to 10 inches. It bears fruit that resembles a light red raspberry after producing white blooms. In the autumn, the fruit becomes amber. Although the cloudberry is sour when it is ripe, it becomes sweet and creamy when allowed to slightly overripen. Cloudberries are combined with sugar and whipped cream and fashioned into jams, tarts, and other desserts. They are also used to make liqueurs and are blended into yogurt and ice cream. Carotenoids and Vitamin C are abundant in cloudberries. The fruit’s amber hue comes from carotenoids, which are vitamin A’s precursors.

9. Lingonberries

These berries are linked to blueberries because they belong to the Vaccinium genus. They are common in the Northern Hemisphere’s colder regions and particularly well-liked there. The bush produces bell- or urn-shaped blooms, just like the blueberry. They finally give birth to an autumn-ripe, acidic red fruit. If the berries are left on the shrub throughout the winter, they get sweeter.

Since lingonberries are tart, they are frequently combined with sugar when making jams, juices, and syrups. Lingonberry is frequently served with game in Scandinavia.

Although it generally has a covering of snow, the lingonberry bush is an evergreen and retains its leaves even in temperatures as low as – 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The bush is resilient, although it struggles in hot weather. It thrives on poor, but non-alkaline soils and partial shade.

10. Cranberries

The genus Vaccinium also includes the cranberry. Some botanists classify it as belonging to the subgenus Oxycoccus or consider Oxycoccus to be a separate genus. Nearly all cranberries come from Canada, the United States, and Chile, where they are famed for growing in bogs in chilly regions. They are turned into cranberry sauce, jam, and juice for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Additionally, cranberries are dried and eaten raw. Highbush cranberries are sweet, but bog cranberries are sour. They include a fair amount of dietary fiber, manganese, and vitamin C.

Cranberries are grown on prostrate, evergreen shrubs or vines that are only 2 to 8 inches high but up to 7 feet long. The stems are narrow and the leaves are very little. The petals of the magenta blossoms completely curl back to reveal the stamens and style. The fruit is first green before turning a rich red color and becoming larger than the leaves. Cranberry harvesting requires a lot of labor. The beds are typically flooded, the fruit is removed from the vines with a harvester, floating berries are moved to a corner of the bed, and the berries are pumped out.

11. Elderberries

Elderberries are members of the Sambucus genus, and the blooms are notably used to make fruit wine and St-Germain liqueur. The purple fruit is used as a dye in addition to being consumed. On a tree that can reach a height of 30 feet yet has a shrubby habit, the berries grow in clusters. Despite the tree’s rapid growth, it takes two to three years before it begins to bear fruit. The tree blooms in fragrant white blossoms that become fruit in the fall when it is ready. Elderberries, in contrast to the other berries mentioned here, are poisonous, hence they shouldn’t be consumed uncooked. They are poisonous to dogs and cats in addition to humans. The tree’s other sections are also poisonous.

The tree is not picky about soil as long as it is maintained moist but well-drained. It is quite hardy and thrives in hardiness zones 3 to 9. It thrives in an open area with direct sunlight. Elderberries can be boiled into a syrup and served with apple pie, just like gooseberries can. When the tree is in bloom, it is simply stunning, and some people like to fry up the flowers as a snack by dipping them in batter.