Born Free Thornless Black Raspberry Primocane Or Floricane Fruiting?

Did anyone get a chance to get one of these?

I E-Mailed them several times asking if it was Primocane or Floricane fruiting.I never got a straight answer.

Thank You very much!


Since it is unusual for most black raspberries to fruit on primocanes, it would definitely be part of the marketing to hype it up if it was a primocane bearing type. The June/July ripening time also hints that it’s a floricane bearer.

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I added some Ohio Treasure blacks last spring… which are supposed to be everbearing… they sent up some nice primos last year… but did not fruit on the tips last fall…

My other everbearing varieties heritage red fall gold… do fruit on primos the first fall… but these OTBs did not produce a first fall crop on the primos.

The OTBs are looking really good now for a spring/summer crop… perhaps the new primos this year will fruit this fall… hope so.


I doubt it.

Gurneys and Stark get plants from breeders that nobody else really wants.

Examples- They both have primocane fruiting blackberries. One is thorny and one is thornless. (Prime Ark Freedom and Prime Ark Horizon) Black Gem and Black Magic which are sisters but did not make the cut.

I could be wrong but while the Born Free is thornless it will probably have berries that are crumbly or small or something that knocks it down a notch or two.

In a few years or so there will likely be a thornless black rasp on the market that is more refined. Just a theory though.

$25 plus shipping for one plant is kind of gouging. Kudos to them for selling out though.


I haven’t tried them personally, but Ka-bluey and Kanga rhu were the only things I was really interested in from Gurney’s because I can’t justify their pricing even with their discounts. If I could get it down to 15-20 per plant similar to what I’d find elsewhere for a “premium variety”, I might bite but it doesn’t seem to happen. They do have romance cherries and Ponca as well but both are a better price elsewhere. A thornless black raspberry sounds interesting, but the thorny one I grew from seed is not extremely thorny, so I’ll go with it for now.

I just bought this one too. Planning to get it in the ground tomorrow.

Also, last year one of my black raspberries sent berries in the fall. I tagged it, took seeds and am trying to reproduce it. Maybe one day I’ll have something to “introduce” to the world. :slight_smile:


Thornless black raspberries have been around for ages but almost never commercially. One of the earlier ones was called Ebony if I recall. They also bred one decades ago in Scotland but only used it to produce Glen Coe purple raspberry. Obviously it was nothing worth releasing in their opinion. I think a breeding program in Poland released a new thornless black cap recently, I’ll have to check that out.

So yes, I think the previous poster is right in assuming these varieties might be somehow lacking compared to established varieties.

We’re basically still growing varieties from the 50’s (Jewel) and even older (early 1900’s) ones like Bristol. It seems black raspberries are hard to improve and disease susceptibility is one of the factors. On average black raspberries are more vulnerable than most other species and have low genetic diversity. That’s why they’re warning against planting black raspberries next to red raspberries and blackberries.


@FarmGirl-Z6A … I bought a 3 pk last year and actually got 4. Gave one to my daughter and I planted 3.

Mine were slow to take off and grow… and one actually died… the other two lived and eventually kicked in and grew nicely. The one I gave my daughter also grew nicely.

Tipped them at 4 ft… and they sent out several nice laterals that grew quite long… but did not fruit last fall (as expected).

There are 2 OTB in this little bed and some heritage reds on the far end. You can see how the OTBs branched out nicely on the ends after being tipped at 4 ft.

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I also am adding Ohio Treasure… berries are reported to be soft… but its a double cropper.

Parents are- Josephine and Caroline Reds with Dundee and Jewel blacks.

Seeds from Ohio Treasure will likely result in a Purple Rasp.

Should bear fruit late June and again in mid October.

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So far the only black raspberries I have tasted are from my mystery black. They are smaller than my reds and golds… but wow the flavor is great.

If all blacks taste that good … I need more blacks. My favorite by far. I hope the OTBs taste similar.


Jewel is for sure worth growing. Bristol is a beast also worth growing. May as well add a Mac Black too. Niwot is ok. I will know more about it this year. Highest hopes for Glencoe… spine free and purple. Hard to find online but Lowes has some very nice plants this year.


I find Bristol to be more productive than Jewel. Cumberland is also good for me.

I have a Glencoe plant and tip-rooted a couple more last summer. It is a good fruit, better flavor than my other purples (Royalty and Brandywine), but the Japanese beetles hit it pretty hard while ignoring the other ones. It seems to be just early enough to avoid SWD.


In this statement you are saying that Cumberland is different than Bristol?

Can you for the group prove this at a later point? I am going to give it a try… but then again you may have gotten a plant from a different propagator than i did…

I made it pretty far in the argument and found old data proving that they were different… but for modern day arguments i am at a dead end. The tale is that years ago tags got lost or something and they are the same now.

Bristol is sold on West Coast
Cumberland is sold on East Coast

That is supposedly in the hopes that someone doesnt get both and figure out that they are the same… at least that is where i am with it as far as modern day sales.

‘Bristol’ ‘Watson Prolific’ X ‘Honeysweet’, 1934
Cumberland’ Wild selection from Pennsylvania, 1890s

In this USDA DNA test it looks to me as Bristol and Cumberland have the same exact DNA.

I have had OTB a while now.

The first spring i planted them they produced some nice pcanes… but they did not fruit on those nice canes in the fall…

My heritage reds… do fruit on first year pcanes in the fall… so i was expecting that of OTB… but did not happen.

OTB did produce a nice spring crop for me… here in TN ripening mid June. A good heavy crop and nice sized berries… delicious…

But in the fall… a very small crop with less than half of the pcanes fruiting.

HRs out produce them big time in the spring and fall.


I thought it was Bristol and Munger that were the same, not Cumberland.

The fruits are very very similar, although anecdotally, I think Bristol is slightly larger and maybe 3 days earlier.

However, they are absolutely different varieties. When we get into spring, I can post some pictures, but the new growth is very red on Bristol, especially the new primocanes, and that is not true for Cumberland (or Jewel), both are green from the start. There are definitely different genetics in there.

And you mentioned the source, I did get all three of my black raspberry varieties from Berries Unlimited, FWIW.

I can also determine that Jewel and Cumberland are not the same. Jewel produces fewer, but thicker canes than the other two varieties I have and the fruits are a bit different. Different enough that I as the grower can tell the difference between them, although the average person probably wouldn’t notice.

I have a feral patch of black raspberry that started from bird droppings, I keep transplanting starts for a thicket. Extremely delicious and no sign of disease so far. I thank that bird!


On this link from Chad Finn and Patrick Moore they state that Bristol, Munger and Cumberland are the same on page 9. I think i read somewhere that New Logan is the same as Cumberland as well…so that would be at least 4 that are possibly the same.

Those guys worked closely with the USDA and the germplasm repository and get their breeding stock from them so i gotta think that they are somewhat correct.

I think i read that also on the fruiting times just a tad different as well.

Its confusing but interesting.

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Well, the two different plants I have are definitely not the same.

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