Rubus occidentalis – Black Raspberry

Page Created by Connecticut Foraging Club
Upcoming Events | Meet the Instructors | Plant Archive | Mushroom Archive

Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) is one of the first native berries to ripen in the summer.
Black raspberries are a native perennial that can be found in disturbed habitats, meadow edges, and stream banks. They can grow in full sun to partial shade.
Black raspberry plants have thorny canes that are covered in a whitish bloom. The compound leaves are composed of 3-5 leaflets. The underside of the leaves is whitish. Small white or pinkish flowers grow in clusters of 2-7 in the spring.
In Connecticut, black raspberries start to ripen mid-June. Berries receiving full sun will ripen first. The berries will ripen over a period of several weeks. They are ready to pick when they easily slip off the stem.
Black raspberries are expensive and rare in grocery stores since they are difficult to cultivate commercially. They are delicious raw or can be used in jam, smoothies, muffins, or ice cream.
Leaves can be used for a medicinal tea most of the year. Black raspberry leaf tea is high in magnesium, selenium, and iron. The tea has been used medicinally to treat diarrhea and menstrual pain.
Black raspberries are high in anthocyanins (an antioxidant) and vitamins A, B, C, and E. Extracts of the berries have been found to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *