Josephine Raspberry

I have 7 different varieties of Raspberries and while they are 2 years old, this is the first time any and all of them are fruiting, One variety- Josephine- is about 1000 times better than all the other 6 varieties in every way possible. I know there are countless variables that could make my one Josephine plant exceed other varieties- even those nearby. Or maybe its just the perfect plant for my dirt, my climate, etc. But if everyone else’s Josephine’s are this great too, then I may be replacing all my raspberries with them.

They are literally twice as large as any of my other varieties-just huge. They are also just beautiful. Not just because of their size, but all the drupelets line up in neat little rows and form just a perfect berry. But much more important that its large size and beautiful appearance is the incredible flavor!!! HOLY COW this is one incredible berry. Its very sweet, but has much more to the flavor than just sweetness. I don’t know how to describe it other than say it has a strong raspberry flavor- as if it is a concentrated version of regular raspberries. They are also more juicy…when you bite down on them there is more juice than you expect. Also, the berries seem to hold together longer and are “tougher” and don’t squash as easily. I know it sounds like I’ve just described the perfect berry, but that is what mine seems to be!!! So I’m wondering if its a lucky fluke or if I should be replacing all my berries with Josephine. Part of that will depend on whether all of you have had similar experience or mine is just an unusual exception. So, if you have this raspberry I would appreciate hearing your experience with it.


What other varieties are you growing?

It would help if you listed the other varieties you are growing. There are several factors that go into the taste of the berry, the most important being the amount of rain three weeks before harvest. Generally the less rain the sweeter and tastier the berries (note that is general statement and does not apply to all fruits). So it may be a case where Josephine shines because of the amount of water in the berry relative to other berries when they ripen.

Also since it is Joesphine and the time you are posting I am assuming you are growing this everbearer as a two cropper and currently harvesting a spring crop from the one year old canes grown last season. With some everbearer the spring crop actually tastes somewhat different than the fall crop, something I attribute once again to the moisture content.

I’d be curious if you are growing Autumn Bliss, Autumn Britten, Caroline, Heritage, of Fall Gold. I would think it would be comparable to Caroline, Autumn Bliss, and Autumn Britten and better than Heritage. Fall Gold is in a class all its own. . If you grow Taylor or Hilton (summer bearers) how does it stack up to them?

I could never grow it here for a fall crop so I don’t bother (Heritage often gets frosted out at only 50% harvest) as I cut all my everbearers to the ground in the winter so I don;t have to worry about disease and borers as much (my everbearing patch is 15-20 years old now., only the summer bearers have had to have been replaced).


the fluffy one

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I had my first Josephine crop last year in autumn. I did liked it a lot. It does have very big berries and the surprisingly good flavor. In general the flavor was similar with Polka flavor, the other variety I had at the same time. It is also a very late variety, it started to produce when Polka production was wearing off, so it is the extension for the season. Last year I enjoyed it through September, October and the part of November since we had no freezes until then. I am still waiting for the summer crop, so we’ll see how it goes.

I am also a big Josephine fan. It is a unique berry, the flavor is different - more aromatic/delicate. They also look different, with big druplets. I have grown many varieties, Heritage, Prelude, Nantahala, etc which are all relatively similar compared to the Josephine. Right now I have half Josephine half Nantahala.

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Scott, do you manage these as Fall berries or do you concentrate on the Spring/Summer crop to avoid the SWD in the Fall?

I just have Prelude and Lauren for now, but nothing to taste yet because they are first year and the few berries that have shown up so far have just fed the birds… arghhhh. I just put some net over one Lauren cane with a handful of green berries so hopefully I can taste my Lauren’s this weekend or early next week.

My main goal is a fall crop. Although that could change when the SWD shows up in my yard… I haven’t had any Josephine recently, I didn’t have any room for some until last year and so this fall will be my first decent harvest. I had a small experimental patch of them 5-10 years ago.

This is great news…sounds like Josephine really is a better-than-average berry for more than just me. I am definitely going to be planting more.

I’m sorry I didn’t list my other varieties…that would have made sense so you’d know what I’m comparing it to. Before I list the others I’m growing I will go ahead and tell you that in some ways it isn’t a fair comparison and I’m not comparing apples to apples (so to speak) since several of my other varieties are different colors, so they may well taste and look different. But its still noteworthy that my Josephines are better in taste, looks, size, etc than other reds AND other colors. I should also ad that in many cases I only have 1 or 2 plants of each variety, so its not a great sample size for statistical analysis. But the fact remains…Josephine are the best of all these berries:

Heritage (while most popular, this is my least favorite)
Brandywine (no fruit yet)

Fall Gold

From your list I’ve had Caroline and Anne. Both are among my best ones. Caroline is the best red I’ve had, but gets absolutely destroyed by SWD and hasn’t been a big yielder for me (I removed it last fall). Anne has great flavor, decent crops and seems less impacted by SWD. I’ve just planted Brandywine this spring.

I thought about adding Josephine, but held off due to SWD concerns. Instead I added Lauren, K-81-6, Taylor, and Cascade Gold, which are all summer bearers. They should finish up before SWD. It looks like I didn’t water Lauren enough during this spring’s warm weather, so it didn’t make it, but I think the others are OK.

Anyone have Rosanne raspberry? I got one from Raintree last year and will get fruit this year. They made it sound great.

I’ll definitely get Josephine next spring.

I have SWD in my area so while it is still hot we pick and eat. After the overnights are hitting 50 (or so) SWD is pretty much done and we do other things with them.

I do and it is a good berry, but here is is not really hardy enough for my area, and it is a low producer. I think all of mine died out? Not positive, I have to look close. All floricanes died this year from cold damage. All the others are fine. Josephine sounds like a winner! On my want list!

@Drew51 how are you separating your raspberries, is there a physical barrier between each cultivar?

One advantage of Josephine is they look so different you can tell what you are harvesting even if they run in to each other. I actually have mine interplanted, I had one variety in a spot and had to move another in later so I just interplanted.

ditto, only Latham and Jewel have stayed where I planted them 3 years ago, everything else is p.much encroaching on its’ neighbor. It looks awesome when the all 3 colors are ripening at once down the row, like now.

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No, they are growing next to each other. I usually have red next to yellow, or summer next to everbearing, or in one case a black raspberry. So it’s easy enough to tell them apart. They may merge and mix up as time goes on. I know enough about each cultivars’ appearance, growth habits, and such to tell them apart. Stuff like red spines, thick spines, enough characteristics exist to distinguish the cultivars. As of now they are still separate, if they mingle too much it may not be possible in some cases, but I don’t really care that much about that anyway.
My season has started I picked about 50 berries today, and that is light, I will harvest about 100 berries a day for the next few weeks.

What is SWD?

I am so very lost…



Did you actually taste a difference between Heritage and Anne? Blindfolded I could never tel the two apart.

And what did you think of FallGold?

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Evil fruit flies which lay eggs in unripe berries, so by the time the berry is turning ripe there is a small worm in it. It also turns the berry into mush in short order. They’ve hit me in early August for the last two years.

It’s funny how different berries can apparently be in different geographic areas for whatever reason. @TheFluffyBunny, I taste a fairly big difference between heritage and Anne. In my “patch”, Anne is sweeter for sure. Also not as strong tasting in terms of traditional raspberry flavor…more of just plain sweetness. Heritage is probably my least favorite, but I know that is contrary to a lot of people’s opinion and its one of the most popular raspberries. For me it has some kind of slightly unpleasant aftertaste, almost a mildly bitter one. I’m terrible at describing tastes- I only know what I like and don’t like. AS for fall gold, this is the first year mine has fruited and I’ve only had a few berries. I think they are similar to Anne but the appearance may be tricking me and I don’t have enough experience yet to say for sure.

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