Opinions wanted: Favorite raspberry varieties?

Hi all, I’m putting in 11 rows of raspberries for our u-pick orchard and have some varieties picked out (primocane and floricane, red and yellow). However I thought I’d put it out there: what’s everyone’s favorite varieties and why?

I want to make sure I’m considering all of the best-tasting varieties.

Mine is Tulameen taste-wise but it’s 100% hardy here (though it still managed a decent crop after the last two arctic winters). Fall Gold is the only yellow I’ve tried but it’s been really good as well.

I’m in 6b/7a.


Take a look here: Josephine Raspberry - #4 by Antmary

Tulameen is also one of my favorites. It’s got a good flavor, but my favorite thing about it is that it bears over such a long period. It seems like I’m picking Tulameen for half the season.

Glencoe Purple was really tasty in my yard. When it was red, it was a decent raspberry, but when it darkened to purple, it was fantastic.

Anne is my favorite yellow. My Fall Gold only gave me a little bit of fruit in the first year, so I can’t really compare the two yet. Anne is a little bit soft (crumbly when picked and a bug magnet) and it’s not super productive in my yard.

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Tim, be aware of SWD ruining your fall crops without spraying. That being said, black raspberries are popular in S and SE PA.

Hi! Caroline is my favorite variety. I make my jam out of it every fall. The taste is the ‘essence’ of red raspberry. My ‘Jewel’ black raspberries can’t hold a candle to ‘Caroline’. I still have ‘Kiwi Gold’ and finally, the fall crop of the berries last year were very good.


Anne is my favorite raspberry by a wide margin. It isn’t crumbly for me at all, as it is more on the firm side of the spectrum. I had Fall Gold at a farmers market once, and those were pretty crumbly. Anne seems to take the SWD better than most. A few Anne do get hit with Ants though, something I haven’t seen on other raspberries.

Caroline was my best tasting red. But, I never got much production out of them and they seemed particularly hit by SWD. I’ve eliminated it, as well as most Autumn Britten, Autumn Bliss (I say most, as there are always a few popping up still) due to SWD.

This sounds like a good one to try. Royalty (another purple) is very productive, but not particularly flavorful. Where is Glencoe Purple sold?

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I’m done with fall bearing. SWD is a deal breaker for me. Moving to the earliest varieties i can find.


I grew Anne and I agree that the flavor is excellent…very fruity with almost a hint of pineapple. Anne never produced a lot for me and they seemed to be the most afflicted by stinkbugs. Caroline was probably my favorite red raspberry but it also went into decline and it had a lot of trouble with SWD. Before I replaced both I would just cut the tops of during the fall to stop feeding the bugs.

I grow Royalty and Glencoe - both taste the same to me. Glencoe tends to fruit a bit later than Royalty. Royalty is great for jam and has smaller seeds than some of my other varieties of blackberry and raspberry but the flavor fresh is only fair.

Cascade Delight red raspberry is a PNW variety but handled -12F last winter without damage, so it should be cold hardy to zone 6A without problems. It has a good raspberry flavor when ripe but I have had some trouble detecting when it is ripe because it does not get dark red until it is overripe. The berries are huge for a raspberry, 6-8g, and it was very productive this last year. I planted 4 more this year. You can buy these as rootstock online on the cheap and grow quite a patch. These are summer-bearing only which is perfect for SWD-infested areas.

I have a small patch of Tulameen and I do like the flavor quite a bit. They have not been overly vigorous but this variety hates wet clay soil, so I have been extra careful growing them.

It took awhile but I had a good year with black raspberries last year, especially Black Mac. I added a few more of that variety late last year.

I grow 6 raspberry varieties and Prelude is my favorite. Great flavor, great size, and very heavy producer summer and fall crop.

Prelude is not as good as Caroline, but it is a steady producer of decent berries. An excellent cultivar. I found Polka to be just as good as Caroline, although it also can be an inconsistent producer. I need a couple more years for full evaluations. Encore is like Prelude. Taylor is good, and a decent producer, a little low production, but consistent for me. Cascade Gold tastes fantastic, but is inconsistent. All the same all mentioned I will continue to grow,.

I got mine from Edible Landscaping. They have it as “Glencoe Purple Thornless.”[quote=“jtburton, post:8, topic:3384”]
I grow Royalty and Glencoe - both taste the same to me. Glencoe tends to fruit a bit later than Royalty. Royalty is great for jam and has smaller seeds than some of my other varieties of blackberry and raspberry but the flavor fresh is only fair.

My whole family and a few friends who have tried it loved the Glencoe Purples last year. You don’t by chance prefer berries with a bit of acid bite to them? From the reviews I read, it seems that people either love the mild flavor of the purples or think they are bland. I grew Crimson Night last year, and it seems to fall in a simliar flavor profile. I only got a few berries from it in its first year though, half of which fell victim to swd.

I’m not sure about Jeremy, but I do like a bit of bite to my berries. Based on your description of them as mild and Jeremy saying they are similar to Royalty (where my main issue with them is that they are mild/bland) I should probably pass on them. The reason I’ve kept Royalty is that they are so productive and they fruit before SWD (by a few weeks). I can let visitor pick as many as they want :smile:

I planted Brandywine this past spring, which is supposed to have more of a tart flavor. I’m not looking for something sour (like red currants), but a bit more acid/tart than the average raspberry could be pretty good. Especially if it has some sugar to it.

I like berries with a strong flavor…I avoid them if ‘mild’ is in the description…Marion blackberry would be my tops in flavor for berries. I think Caroline raspberry had a richly, tart flavor and that was a great-tasting raspberry.

Now I have a couple of black currants that I planted early last year and the flavor is strong…well…like kerosene. :wink:

The one berry I was trying to find was Nightfall blackberry…people said they tasted awful but they are supposed to make the best possible jam due to their strong flavor.

I like Killarney…so much so that I am planting 500 plants next spring.

I have Polka, Caroline, Josephine and for me they tasted very similar. Josephine has slightly different pectin-nish aftertaste. I did not like the taste of their summer crop, we had lots of rain and the taste was bland. But the autumn crop was very good tasting. I also have an interesting summer variety which I got from our neighbor. They brought it from their Montana farm, where they grew it for many years. The plants are very different from the other cultivars. The stems are intense purple in color with numerous tiny yellow thorns. And the leaves are very dark green and mottled with purple when young. In autumn they defoliated well before all the other varieties and before that they looked quite decorative with purple stems and bright yellow and purple leaves. I had only a few berries from them this year they were small, dark red and the taste was very intense raspberry with tartness. The summer crop from Josephine and Caroline was very bland tasting comparing to them. Overall it reminds me of the wild raspberries, which it actually might come from. Next year when it have the better crop I see if they are worth keeping, because the berries are quite small.

Agreed, over half my planting will be in earlier varieties to hopefully avoid SWD. Hopefully some cultural controls or natural predators will come into play in the next few years to make this less of a problem.

Here’s the narrowed-down list due to input from others and my own research:


  • Prelude
  • Lauren
  • Killarney
  • Nova
  • Encore
  • Tulameen


  • BP-1 (Tulameen parentage)
  • Caroline
  • Fall Gold
  • Anne
  • Josephine

Anyone have any other input? I appreciate all of the help and comments

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I like Caroline. Great size, flavor, easy to pick. My 2nd favorite is heritage for its vigor and flavor. Here in Indiana both of these well. I do not care for the purple/black varieties I have tried.

Since you will sell the raspberry U-pick, you need a combination of quality fruit and productive variety.

I’m in a lousy climate for Raspberry we no longer grow and sell them U-pick but we had a few good years before the heat got to them. “Blackberry thrive and raspberry dive, when the weather gets very hot.”

I like your web site! Looks like you have a lot of experience with Figs, which will probably interest a lot of folks here. Has Penn State done any variety trials on raspberry in your area? If so that may be helpful.

Best Regards

Though a bit late I’d like to add Latham to the list. It’s my favorite for fesh off the cane eating . Does well for me. Tall, sturdy canes. Nice fruit. Prelude is next for reliable productivity and good raspberry flavor and fruit. Ripens before Latham.