Raspberry: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on raspberry

Rubus idaeus, a member of the Roseaceae family. Raspberry is a perennial which bears biennial stems ("canes") from a perennial root system. In the plant's first year of growth, a new, unbranched stem ("primocane") will grow vigorously to its full height of roughly 5-8 feet. The stem will bear large pinnately compound leaves with five or seven leaflets, however there are usually no flowers produced during this time.

In its second year (as a "floricane"), the stem will not grow in height, but instead will produce several side shoots, which will bear smaller leaves with three or five leaflets. During this second year of growth flowers are produced in late spring. These flowers will be about a centimeter in diameter with five white petals each and will bloom on short racemes on the tips of the new side shoots.

The familiar and edible raspberry fruit is red. It is sweet but tart-flavored. It is produced in summer or early autumn. In actual botanical terms, the fruit is not a berry— but is instead an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a central core.

When collecting raspberries, these drupelets separate from their core, leaving a hollow fruit, whereas when blackberries and most other species of Rubus are harvested the drupelets stay attached to the core.

common names & nomenclature
The species name idaeus is in reference to Mount Ida—near Troy in northwest Turkey—where it grows and the ancient Greeks were most familiar with it.

Also known as:
red raspberry, european raspberry

Raspberry, the tea, tonic, and skin toner berry
Raspberry: Where in the World
habitat and range for raspberry

Rubus idaeus is native to Europe and northern Asia and commonly cultivated in other temperate regions.

Raspberry: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting raspberry

Raspberry grows most typically in forests. Under a tree canopy it will form open stands whereas in clearings denser stands will be produced. Prefers full sun.

Raspberry adapts to a range of soil conditions, but does best in a well-drained loamy soil.

Raspberry plants are best propagated via plant division. These plants do not produce fruit the first year; they have "biennial canes" meaning that they are vegetative for their first year and then in their second year they flower and fruit, then they die and the old dead canes should be removed. The canes should not be cut back in the first of the two years because they will be the ones producing flower and fruit the following year.

Raspberry leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use. The fruit ripens in summer or fall and can be harvested when it comes off the stem easily. Fruit may be frozen for later use.

Store dried raspberry leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Raspberry: The Rest of the Story
raspberry history, folklore, literature & more

raspberry leaf flavor notes
The leaf imparts a flavor similar to black tea.

Dried Raspberry Leaf, similar to black tea

culinary uses for raspberry leaf
Raspberry leaf can be infused like tea. A general guideline with dried herb infusions is 1 tsp of dried herb to a cup of water when brewing, but this can be adjusted to taste or to strength desired.

Fresh Raspberry Leaf, can be infused like tea

raspberry usable plant parts
fruit, leaf

farming and processing raspberry
Raspberry leaf comes from commercial cultivars and hybrids of American and European red raspberry, collectively referred to botanically as Rubus idaeus. The fruit of the plant contains a core seed surrounded by numerous drupelets consisting of fleshy pulp.

Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) shrub thrives in full sun but can also be grown in partial shade in a variety of soil types. They are however, fussy about neighbors and other perennial weeds will invade the harvest aggressively if not managed. Raspberry leaf is harvested between late spring and the middle of summer, typically before the fruit ripens. The raspberry fruit should be picked when they deepen in color and when they separate from the receptacle with ease.

Raspberry Habitat, thrives in full sun