11 Common Types of Berries - Pictures, Care, and Use Tips

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by Max - last update on May 31, 2020, 6:50 pm
Types of Berries

The botanical definition of berry excludes many of the fruits that are commonly known as berries, such as strawberries and blueberries. If you're wondering that berry plants you're able to grow in your garden, this list uncovers some of the most popular types of berries and the plants that produce them, as well as their care requirements.

11 Types of Berries

1. Strawberry

Strawberry

Scientific Name: Fragaria sp.

Mature Size: Up to 2 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Maintain moist soil

Soil: Loamy, well-draining

Flower Color: White, pink, and yellow

Cultivars and Varieties: Beach Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca), Scarlet Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), Garden Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa)

These perennial plants form mounds of fresh green, heavily toothed foliage. They produce small flowers that are usually white with yellow centers, though some varieties produce pink flowers. These blooms then give way to the fruits that are lime green in their early stages before developing to a luscious red colored juicy strawberry. The bloom time and subsequent harvest time varies among these plants, with June-bearing varieties being ready to harvest for several weeks in June, and ever-bearing varieties producing multiple harvests from spring through to fall. June-bearing strawberry plants tend to be the most popular, as they produce the largest strawberries in vast amounts, however, selecting a strawberry plant that is best suited to your local climate is the best way to ensure good crop yield.

Some strawberry plants are suited to cooler conditions, whereas others thrive in warmer temperatures. Most strawberry plants will do best in full sun positions, though there are some that enjoy partial shade. Overall, these plants prefer loamy soil that is kept consistently moist. For this reason, it is important that the soil is well-draining. In frost-free areas, strawberry plants may remain evergreen all year round.

As well as being delicious, strawberries offer numerous health benefits and are often especially popular as a healthy snack among children. Strawberries contain high levels of Vitamin C and are rich in antioxidants. They are known to benefit heart health, as well as positively impact blood sugar control.


2. Mulberry

Mulberry

Scientific Name: Morus sp.

Mature Size: Up to 40 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Light: Full sun

Water: Average water needs

Soil: Fertile, well-draining

Flower Color: Yellow-green, pink

Cultivars and Varieties: Black Mulberry (Morus nigra), White Mulberry (Morus alba), Weeping White Mulberry (Morus alba 'Pendula')

Native to Asia, mulberry trees are popular specimen trees that produce edible fruits. Some types of mulberry trees are small and ornamental, reaching maturity at ten feet tall, while others can grow to be quite grand and imposing, at forty feet tall. Mulberry trees have attractive heart-shaped foliage that is dark green and glossy in summer, fading to yellow in the fall. These trees produce small yellow-green flowers that develop into fruits in summer through to early fall. The fruits resemble large and dark raspberries once ripe. White mulberry trees have fruits that start out white but develop to dark pink, red, or purple as they ripen. Berries from the black mulberry tree are darker and are known to be superior when it comes to taste, offering a sweet and tart hit. These mulberries are commonly used in jams and syrups.

These trees grow easily in fertile soils that are well-draining. They are low maintenance and do not require any regular pruning. Mulberries are regarded for their health benefits that range from lowering cholesterol and protecting against diabetes and heart disease.


3. Gooseberry

Gooseberry

Scientific Name: Ribes uva-crispa

Mature Size: Up to 5 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-6

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Average water needs

Soil: Well-draining

Flower Color: Green, cream

Cultivars and Varieties: Ribes uva-crispa 'Pixwell', Ribes uva-crispa 'Invicta', Ribes uva-crispa 'Pax', Ribes uva-crispa 'Careless'

Gooseberry plants are deciduous shrubs that can be grown as small bushes or trained to climb up a trellis wall or fence to take up less space in the yard. They can also be grown successfully in containers, though these need to be watered more frequently. These plants have attractive medium green foliage and star-shaped flowers that develop into berries that are usually harvested from July onwards. This plant will typically not produce fruit in its first year, but they have high crop yields in subsequent years.

Depending on the variety, the gooseberries may be red, yellow, or green, and have a sweet or tart taste. Berries are popular among birds, and so will need to be covered with protective netting to prevent them from being eaten. Some under-ripe berries can be picked in June for use in jams, pies, and syrups, while others can be left on the plant to ripen and be eaten raw. Take care when harvesting as fully ripe gooseberries can be plump, juicy, and ready to burst, which can make quite a mess if not handled carefully.

Gooseberry plants are easy to care for, and they will thrive in a wide variety of soil types. They can tolerate full sun in cooler locations, but in hot climates will benefit from some afternoon shade. They also like to be protected from strong winds. It is not essential to prune these plants, but regular pruning in both winter and summer will help to increase fruit yield.

Gooseberries are very impressive in terms of health and dietary benefits. They are very low in calories, yet are rich in fiber and antioxidants. They are thought to be good for brain health, heart health, and have properties that are effective in preventing cancers.


4. Raspberry

Raspberry

Scientific Name: Rubus sp.

Mature Size: Up to 6 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-10

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Maintain moist soil

Soil: Well-draining, acidic, rich, fertile

Flower Color: White

Cultivars and Varieties: Delicious Raspberry (Rubus deliciosus), Creeping Raspberry (Rubus calycinoides), Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus), Black Raspberry (Rubus occidentalis), Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus)

Raspberry plants belong to the Rubus genus, which is a collection of bramble bushes. Like most brambles, raspberry plants have upright habits, prickly stems, and heavily toothed leaves that are coated in small hairs. They produce white flowers that resemble small roses, and these blooms develop into sweet red berries that can be enjoyed fresh, or used in a variety of pies, sauces, jams, and desserts.

Raspberry plants, depending on the variety, are suitable for growing in a wide range of climates. Some types are hardy down to USDA zone 3, while others prefer warmer climates. They prefer full sun positions, though they can tolerate partial shade, especially in hot temperatures. Too much shade can result in a decreased fruit yield, so allow full sun where possible. These plants thrive in fertile soil that is rich in organic content, slightly acidic, and kept moist. They need to be in a well-draining soil and will struggle in shallow or waterlogged soils. These plants can be grown in containers, in rows of beds, and trained to grow on canes or posts. Harvest time will vary between varieties, with some types producing two crops in one year (spring and fall), while others may only produce one crop each year during summer.

Raspberries are popularly cultivated for their delicious fruits that can be frozen, cooked, or eaten fresh. They are low in calories and fat but have a high nutritional content. They contain many antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and are thought to protect against some health conditions such as diabetes and arthritis. Some believe that raspberries also have anti-aging properties. They can easily be added into diets by incorporating them into smoothies or having them on top of yogurt or granola.


5. Blackberry

Blackberry

Scientific Name: Rubus fruticosus

Mature Size: Up to 6 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Maintain moist soil

Soil: Acidic, well-draining, rich

Flower Color: Pink, white

Cultivars and Varieties: Rubus fruticosus' Chester', Rubus fruticosus' Triple Crown', Rubus fruticosus' Navaho', Rubus fruticosus ‘Natchez’

Blackberries are another type of bramble that produces delicious fruits on strong stems. They typically have upright or semi-upright growing habits and can be thorned or thornless. They produce rose-like flowers in varying shades of white, cream, and pale pink, which develop into juicy and plump fruits in the summer. Depending on the variety, blackberries can be ready for harvest in early, mid, or late summer.

The canes of this plant tend to be stronger than their cousin, the raspberry and can hold many fruits without needing support from posts or trellis. However, training the blackberry bush on a trellis will make for a more neatly presented plant, and will also make it easier to harvest. These bushes thrive in slightly acidic, well-draining soil, and will struggle in chalky, shallow, or waterlogged soil. They enjoy sheltered positions away from strong winds but perform best in positions of full sun. Though these plants will tolerate some shade, their fruit yield can suffer without enough sun.

Blackberry fruits are plump, glossy, and juicy. They are black on the outside, with a dark purple inside. They are delicious eaten fresh, but also work well as frozen or cooked. They are popularly used in jams, pies, sauces, and desserts. They have numerous health benefits, being high in manganese, vitamin K, fiber, and vitamin C.


6. Blueberry

Blueberry

Scientific Name: Vaccinium sp.

Mature Size: Up to 15 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-10

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Maintain moist soil

Soil: Acidic, well-draining, moisture-retentive

Flower Color: White

Cultivars and Varieties: Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), Rabbiteye Blueberry (Vaccinium ashei)

Blueberry plants are deciduous shrubs that have a lot to offer the garden, as they are very ornamental and attractive, as well as being able to produce delicious and nutritious fruits. These plants grow easily, producing small, ovate foliage that is thick and glossy in shades of dark green. As the seasons change, so do the leaves of the shrub, transforming to attractive shades of yellow, purple, or red.

Bell-shaped white flowers emerge in spring that develops into clusters of blueberries, ripe for harvesting from early summer through to fall depending on the variety. These berries are enormously popular among birds, wildlife, and humans, so if you want to save the berries for yourself, then you will need to protect them with netting to prevent other creatures from beating you to it. Blueberry plants can be used as hedging, in beds and borders, or in containers. They thrive in moist soil that is well-draining and slightly acidic. There are many types of blueberry plants, some of that tolerate very cold temperatures, while others prefer warmer climates. There's also a vast size difference in varieties, with some types topping out at just two feet, while others can grow as tall as fifteen feet.

Blueberries are renowned as a superfood, thanks to their impressively high antioxidant content. They are low in calories yet high in nutrients and are thought to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and protect against aging and cancer. These berries are very popular as fresh fruit but are also widely used in cooking for jams, muffins, sauces, and desserts.


7. Cranberry

Cranberry

Scientific Name: Vaccinium sp.

Mature Size: Up to 6 inches tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-7

Light: Full sun

Water: Maintain moist to wet soil

Soil: Wet, acidic

Flower Color: Pink, purple

Cultivars and Varieties: Swamp Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos), American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), Southern Mountain Cranberry (Vaccinium erythrocarpum), Small Cranberry (Vaccinium microcarpum)

There are two main types of cranberry plants that are commonly grown, and these are the swamp cranberry that is native to England, and the American cranberry that is native to the United States. The American cranberry is widely cultivated in the United States, Canada, and Chile, where in 2017, it accounted for 98% of the world's cranberry production, while the swamp cranberry is cultivated across the northern hemisphere, throughout northern Europe, northern Asia, and North America.

Cranberry plants are low growing shrubs that can be grown as trailing plants. They are evergreen, with small, oval, glossy leaves that are green throughout summer and fall before turning purple or gold in winter. Flowers are produced in late spring to early summer and can be pale pink or dark pink and purple. The blooms develop into fruits that are pale pink on the swamp cranberry and dark red on the American cranberry. Swamp cranberry fruits are sharp-tasting, while American cranberries have a flavor reminiscent of apples. The fruits are commonly used to make juice, jams, and sauces. Cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner in North America and Christmas dinner in the UK. All types of cranberry plants fare well in wet, boggy conditions, and enjoy slightly acidic soil.

Cranberries are noted for their significance to women's health, being useful in preventing and treating urinary tract infections, and supporting post-menopausal health. They are also thought to be useful for improving digestion, and have anti-aging properties.


8. Baneberry

Baneberry

Scientific Name: Actaea sp.

Mature Size: Up to 6 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Light: Partial shade to full shade

Water: Maintain moist soil

Soil: Well-draining, rich

Flower Color: White

Cultivars and Varieties: Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra), White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda), Common Baneberry (Actaea simplex)

Baneberries are perennial plants that have a clump-forming habit. They are popular due to their finely textured foliage and striking flower spikes. They add excellent texture to the garden and are cultivated for their ornamental value. They produce clusters of fluffy white flowers that are borne from pink-tinged buds and stand tall above the foliage below.

The flowers give way to pea-shaped glossy berries that can be white or red, depending on the species. These berries are poisonous if ingested, and have been known to cause fatalities to children in Europe. They are also completely avoided by birds and wildlife. However, they are very decorative, especially the white baneberry, which produces bright white berries on pink-purple stems. These plants are great for shaded spots of the garden as they thrive in partial to full shade. They need continually moist soil that is not allowed to dry out and prefer organically rich soil.


9. Serviceberry

Serviceberry

Scientific Name: Amelanchier alnifolia

Mature Size: Up to 30 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-9

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Maintain moisture

Soil: Acidic, well-draining

Flower Color: White

Cultivars and Varieties: Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), Canadian Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis)

These deciduous plants are native to North America, with hardier species originating from Canada and the northern United States. They take the form of shrubs or trees, varying in height between species from a maximum growth of six feet to thirty feet tall. In spring, dense clusters of white flowers appear in five-petalled star shapes. They bloom before the leaves appear on the branches, giving an ornamental and unusual look to the plant.

When foliage appears, it is ovate and finely toothed, in medium green. The leaves warm up to shades of gold, orange, and red in fall, before falling from the tree. Flowers of this tree give way to berries that range in color from purple-red to blue-black, depending on the species. They are delicious to both humans and wildlife. These plants thrive in moist, well-draining soil, though they are known for being able to adapt to a wide range of soil types.

Serviceberries work well in jams, chutneys, sauces, and pies. They have high nutritional content and are packed with vitamins.


10. Chokeberry

Chokeberry

Scientific Name: Aronia sp.

Mature Size: Up to 10 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Average water needs

Soil: Any soil type

Flower Color: Pink, white

Cultivars and Varieties: Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia), Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

These are deciduous or semi-evergreen shrubs that are native to North America. Clusters of pale pink or white flowers appear along the stems in spring, before the arrival of the foliage. Leaves are elliptical and glossy green. They develop to bright red and orange in the fall. Blooms of this plant give way to shiny berries that hang in pendulous clusters by late summer. The berries are red and pea-shaped and are edible. This plant thrives in full sun to partial shade and will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, including waterlogged or dry soils.

Chokeberries have incredible nutritional value. They are said to contain three times as many antioxidants as the superfood, the blueberry. They can be eaten raw, fresh from the plant, or they can be incorporated into your diet by adding them to smoothies or cereals. They can also be used to make jams and sauces. The name chokeberry, sadly, comes from the drying sensation they give your throat when eaten, and their sharp flavor.


11. Honeyberry

Honeyberry

Scientific Name: Lonicera caerulea

Mature Size: Up to 10 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-9

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Average water needs

Soil: Well-draining, organically rich

Flower Color: White

Cultivars and Varieties: Lonicera caerulea 'Blue Velvet', Lonicera caerulea 'Blue Moon', Lonicera caerulea 'Tundra', Lonicera caerulea ‘Borealis’

These plants are small to medium-sized shrubs that height from two to six feet tall, depending on the variety. The foliage of this plant is gray-green and resembles the leaves of sage. Flowers bloom in early spring, taking the form of white funnel-shaped blossoms. These flowers develop into oval-shaped berries that are dark blue. They are typically ripe by late spring to early summer and have a taste similar to blueberries. The fruits can be eaten fresh from the bush, or work well in pies, jams, or any recipes where you would ordinarily use blueberries. Due to the limited pollination going on during early spring, these plants benefit from hand pollination. They will thrive in a wide range of soils, which makes them a good alternative for gardeners who have struggled to grow blueberries.

As well as being delicious, honeyberries are thought to offer many health benefits. They have anti-inflammatory properties and are thought to be good for heart health and eye health.

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