How Do You Tell One Raspberry Variety Name From Another Variety Name By The Looks Of It?

How do you tell one raspberry variety name from another variety name by the looks of it other than when it fruits,and knowing that it is a Primocane Fall Bearing variety,or a Floricane Summer Bearing variety, thornless,or thorned.Do the leaves look different?

Thank You very much!

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some you can but most you cant.

You try to match as many distinctive features as you can. Ever bearing vs single bearing is a good start, that narrows the field almost in half. I’m in zone four so that further narrows the field, there are plenty that would not thrive here. My heritage raspberries put out a modest upright bush, that distinguishes them from the ones that put giant canes or that need more support. The fruit size also distinguishes them from the nearby red mammoth. Some start with a greener cane while others is darker from the get-go. Some also have more pronounced thorns than others. And of course checking what everybody is growing around you could yield likely candidates.

Basically lots of detective work.


I do know Bristol black raspberry has reddish new growth, whereas Jewel does not.

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Oooooh! That is so helpful! Thank you!

I have been trying to figure out this same raspberry question and made the mistake of trying to use photos from nurseries which are apparently not always accurate. It has been hard to really figure out the raspberries I was given.

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My other observation is that between the three black raspberry varieties, I grow, Jewel is the least vigorous by far, Bristol the most vigorous. Cumberland in-between. Bristol is the only one with reddish new growth on the primocanes.

Bristol is a beast - 10+ primocanes each spring, growing in some cases 10-15’ long by fall.

Jewel is a shy grower, maybe 3-5 primocanes max so far. Although the primocanes themselves are nice and thick, they do not extend lengthwise nearly as quickly as Bristol, although by the end of the season they are more than sufficient, and I prune them all the same anyway.

Cumberland is intermediate between them.

This post has some variety specific ID details in it.

royalty is a beast here. produces alot of big berries. i like them fresh when red, purple for jam. maybe next spring we could trade cuttings. bristol is hard to find.

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I have completely different experiences. For me Jewel is by far the most vigorous variety. Bristol or Blackhawk do not come even close, they grow lots of thin stems that don’t make it through winter very well. Jewel is the only one I can measure in meters at the end of the season. Thick canes too. I can tell them apart from the stems mostly. Blackhawk has shiny red stems and more often puts out 5 leaflets than the other ones do.


Bristol stems aren’t as thick on mine but far more abundant, and longer.

Being in zone 7a I guess winter hardiness is less of an issue.