Did you know that the definition of a berry is any fruit that has seeds enclosed by a fleshy pulp? Under this definition, bananas, avocados, watermelons, tomatoes, and pumpkins are all different types of berries. However, when most people think of types of berries, they’re talking about colorful, tiny, juicy, and sweet-tart berries that you commonly use in jams and pies.
You’re most likely familiar with raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, but what are some less common types of berries you can try? If you’re not sure, this is for you. We’re going to go over 25 types of berries, and you can eat each of them. Some you may know, but some types of berries may come to a complete surprise and send you scrambling to your nearest farmer’s market to find them.
First up is dewberries, and they’re very closely related to blackberries. You can find them across much of the United States, but they’re extremely common in the South. You can use the leaves for tea, and they were very popular in folk medicine. This vine will grow on a creeping cane, and you’ll find them much lower to the ground than the traditional blackberry plant.
The stems come covered in very fine red hairs, and there are also thorns. These types of berries ripen early in the spring. For flavor, this berry has a very intense and tart taste to it. You can start finding them ripe and ready to pick in late June right through early July. They work very well placed in cobbler, pie, or as a simple syrup for drinks.
Elderberries are a fantastic type of berry for making into wine or baking, and they’re blue-black and tiny. It has a history that dates back hundreds of years, and it was very popular in 17th century England. You should be aware that parts of the plant, including the unripe berries, are mildly toxic. This gets neutralized as the berries get fermented or cooked. The flowers are very fragrant, and they also work well as syrups, cordials, or sodas.
This is a very sour type of berry that has a touch of sweetness on the finish. You’ll have to cook them with sweetener to make them less bitter, but they give you a herbaceous, floral, and deep flavor. They’re ready in mid-summer, and you can use them in galettes, pies, pancakes, and sodas.
3. Golden or White Raspberries
Raspberries and any other type of berries that are thorny are part of the Rosaceae family. There are dozens of different varieties, and they vary from very pale to a golden hue to black, red, or blue. They have a very floral and mild taste profile to them, and they’re slightly less sweet and tart than red raspberries. You can get them in June, July, and August in most farmer’s markets.
They’re better suited for eating fresh due to the very delicate flavor, and they work well for muddling in cocktails made with club soda or sparkling wine. They also do well mixed with other types of raspberries and baked in pies or custards. Galettes are also a great way to go.
There are two types of berries called gooseberries. The Cape Gooseberry is a South American fruit while the Eurasian berries are translucent, tiny, and super-tart in shades of rose, green, or red. They’re ready to eat in mid-summer, but they’re extremely tart if you pick them too soon. You also have to remove the stalk and the flower remains before you cook them using a paring knife or scissors.
Cook these types of berries down and sweeten them as they cook because they’re still very tart with a sweet finish. They work well as pie filling or as a chutney with warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, allspice, or cardamom. You can serve it alongside blackened cod or as a condiment for a turkey or chicken sandwich.
5. Black Raspberry
Black raspberries are types of berries that look like a blackberry. These are sturdier, smaller, and a bit more earthy and tart than other types of raspberries. They’re native to North America, and they have a more intense flavoring with a deep brambly flavor. They also have an extremely short season where they’re ripe that lasts two or three weeks right around July.
Since they’re sturdy, this berry is very versatile. They work very well in pie, jam, or even in muffins. You can tell if you have a black raspberry or a blackberry is picking them. A black raspberry will come off the core to leave a hollow space when picked while a blackberry will keep the inner core.
Cloudberries only grow in extremely cold weather, and they’re native to the arctic tundra. They look like raspberries, but they have larger and fewer lobes with a pretty rose-orange coloring. They’re popular in Scandinavian food, and you can find them in vinaigrettes, compotes, and jams. They’re so delicate and grow in such a cold climate that there hasn’t been a large cultivation in the past.
They’re difficult to find, but they’re getting more popular. They taste like a cross between a red currant and raspberry, and they can be very tart if you eat them raw with just a touch of floral sweetness. They grow in a very short period late in the summer months, and they make an amber-ruby jam with a very balanced flavor.
Loganberries are a type of berry that has a very deep red coloring to them, and they’re the texture and size of a blackberry. The vines have larger thorns on them, and some have fuzzy, dark green leaves. The berries will keep their cores when you pick them like blackberries, and the flavor profile falls between that of a softer blackberry and a brambly raspberry.
This means that this type of berry has a full flavor with a slight tartness to it. They’re ready to pick in midsummer, and they’re very versatile. You can use them in anything you’d use blackberries in like muffins, galettes, and jams. This berry was accidentally created in the 1800s by crossing a European raspberry and a heirloom blackberry bush.
Huckleberries are fruiting canes you can add to your garden. This is a very smooth and round berry that can be anything from red to dark blue. They’re extremely easy to forage as long as you avoid poison oak that grows by them, and they were a huge part of the Native Americans’ diet. Huckleberries have slightly larger seeds, but they’re 100% edible so you don’t have to worry about removing them.
This type of berry offers a very sweet and tart flavor that is slightly more woodsy than your traditional blueberry. They’re ripe and ready to pick in early to mid fall. They work very well in pancakes, and they’re great baked into scones. You can also cook them with a small amount of sugar and serve them with roasted meat.
Lingonberries are a type of berry that are very prominent in Scandaniavian-style food. They’re a native plant to the boreal forest, and you can also find them in the arctic tundra. They’re also recently commercially cultivated in the Pacific Northwest due to their rising popularity. They’re very closely related to cranberries, and they have a flavor profile that is very similar to a red currant or gooseberries.
They have a tart and sour taste to them, and they’re ready to pick during the short arctic summer. You’ll find them ready to pick in later summer further south. You can use them raw sprinkled with sugar on toast, cookies, or pancakes. You can also cook them into a compote, sauce, or syrup to serve with Swedish meatballs, reindeer, or elk.
This type of berry is a cross between the dewberry, blackberry, loganberry, and raspberry. This is a popular berry that was grown throughout Southern California in the 1920s by Walter Knott of Knott’s Berry Farm. This berry is very delicate and prone to bleeding, and this makes it difficult to ship. They are a super-juicy type of berry that has a tart and sweet flavor that is very balanced.
If you want to pick this berry, it’s ready to go in the mid-summer months. Since these berries are so delicate, they work great in jam. They also work in pies since they have a nice balance of sweetness and tart, and you can find syrup available too. They’re dark to light purple with deep green foliage.
You can get these types of berries in shades of lavender, white, purple, red, or black, depending on the type. However, they always have a cylindrical shape and are between two and three centimeters long. Asian varieties are popular throughout North America, and silkworms survive on a diet of these berries. They grow and are ready to pick from late June through early August. The climate and type of berry will dictate when it’s time to harvest them.
This type of berry has an almost sickly sweet flavor to it, but many of them balance out with a tartness. White mulberries bring a slightly more delicate flavor profile. They work well in ice cream because the flavor comes across better frozen. They’re a favorite to add to fruit wine or syrup, but you can also find them in pies and galettes.
12. Cape Gooseberry
Cape gooseberries are part of the tomatillo family, and you’ll find that they come in little paper-like lanterns. These types of berries look like firm, tiny cherry tomatoes, and they’re excellent eaten raw. They have a very mild coconut and tomato flavor to them, and you’ll get a very creamy flavor with a grape-like finish that is slightly tangy.
The season for these types of berries will depend heavily on the climate they’re growing in, and it can be anywhere from May to September. You can easily slice them raw in salads, or they can go into a tomato jam recipe. You can also use them instead of cherries in clafoutis, and you can put them in an upside-down cake.
This is a type of berry that you’ll see growing wild all around Oregon. It’s a type of blackberry, and it got its name after Marion County. It was developed here. These are slightly larger with a more conical shape than blackberries, and they’re sweeter and juicier than a lot of the types of berries on the list. They have a slightly sweet and tart flavor profile to them.
You can pick these berries in mid-summer, and it’s easy to tell by looking at them if they’re ripe. They have a deep purple to almost black coloring. You can easily incorporate it into pies, crumbles, or it makes a nice jam with a little sweetener.
This type of berry is a cross between a youngberry and a loganberry, and each of those berries are crosses between the blackberry and other berries. You’ll find these berries produced in Central California, and they have a very delicate texture paired with a bold and juicy flavor. Their flavor is very close to blackberries, but they also bring a very bright tartness that is reminiscent of wine.
You can pick this berry during the mid-summer months. Since they’re not too delicate or tough and contain a decent amount of pectin, they do well in pie. They make good jam too, but you have to be careful to not overcook it or you’ll get a very dense gel texture.
If you’re visiting California around July, this is Tayberry season. This type of berry is a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry, and it comes from the Scottish Horticultural Society in the 1970s. They have a shorter growing season that yields one big harvest in July instead of several smaller ones spread out over a few weeks.
The flavor profile for this type of berry is a slightly sweeter, and it tastes like a mix between a blackberry and a raspberry with a very slight tart note. These are very delicate berries, and they come with a high level of pectin. This makes them perfect for pie filling and jam. You’ll need less sugar if you’re following a traditional blackberry pie recipe with them.
The chokeberry is a very popular type of bush, and it’s a very sour berry that looks like a blueberry. However, it has a much darker coloring that is almost black. This type of berry has high levels of tannins to contribute to the sour taste, and this is why most people won’t eat them fresh. You can also get red chokeberries, but the blue-black are more prominent.
You can sweeten the berries and cook them down to use them in teas, jams, syrups, or bake them into muffins, pies, and scones. You can get chokeberry extract to use too if the berry itself is just too bitter. This type of berry can leave your mouth feeling bitter and dry if you eat them raw.
17. Black or Red Currants
Black and red currants are types of berries that grow in clusters like you’d find on grapes. They’re a deep black or vibrant red coloring, and they’re very similarly sized to blueberries. They’re shiny berries that have a very tangy, tart flavor to them, but there is also some sweetness. There is an astringent taste that can leave your mouth feeling a little dry. However, your mouth won’t be as bitter and dry as it would be from eating chokeberries.
This type of berry comes packed with antioxidants, and this makes it a great choice for your health. They work very well in jams and pies, but you’ll want to sweeten them a little to prevent whatever you’re making from getting too bitter.
18. Acai Berry
These types of berries have gained massive popularity due to being a superfood, and they have a high amount of fatty acids, protein, and antioxidants. They come with a deep blue-black look and a small round appearance. The taste is bitter or sweet-sour at first, and it slowly transitions to a chocolate-like aftertaste. They grow in palm trees in tight clusters.
These berries are native to South American in the Amazon jungle, and you pronounce it ah-sah-ee. You’ll have a very hard time finding these berries fresh if you want to buy them, and this is why a lot of people purchase them as a powder. You can add this powder to smoothies, drinks, or even baked goods to give in a slightly deeper flavor.
Juneberries are one type of berry that will thrive if you plant it in poor soil, areas with drought, and areas with colder winters. Harsh conditions won’t negatively impact the growth factor, and this berry is native to North America. You can find them growing wild throughout North America, and they look very similar to more traditional blueberries.
However, juneberries have a very sweet and nutty taste to them, and this makes them very popular for use in pancakes and cakes. They’re very rich in antioxidants, and this can help with inflammation and arthritis. You can eat them raw or cook them down to incorporate them into a variety of dishes.
Salmonberries are a type of berry that comes from a perennial plant. This plant is native to Alaska and parts of Canada, and they come in red and orange hues. They look a lot like raspberries with their shape, and you can eat them fresh or use them to create syrups, preserves, jams, and in savory dishes, just like strawberries. They’re very juicy, and you’ll get a sweet-sour taste when you eat them.
This type of berry is very rich in vitamins A, E, C, K, and manganese. These berries are usually cultivated, and this is why you’ll typically forage them in the wild if you want them. They ripen early in May to early June, and they’ll ripen much later in cooler climates.
Strawberries have a very intense, sweet flavor profile that people love. They’re both sour and sweet, and this makes them an excellent ingredient for jams, syrups, milkshakes, preserves, cakes, ice creams, and light summer dishes. You can dip them in chocolate or whipping cream too. They’re one of the largest berry varieties in the world, and people eat them around the globe.
Strawberries grow very close to the ground, and they’re a type of berry that has a deep red hue. They ripen from mid-May to mid-June, depending on your climate. You can get them in a variety of sizes, and they do well fresh, baked in desserts, dried, and powdered. The artificial strawberry scent is also very popular in perfumes.
22. Goji Berry
This type of berry has gotten very popular in the past 10 years or so, and you typically get them sold to you in a dried form. They’re a superfood that has a bright red coloring to them, and they have a very high antioxidant content. They’re also rich in iron, riboflavin, selenium, copper, and vitamin A.
You’ll find this berry growing in the Himalayas and other mountainous regions of China. They do well in poor soils, cold, drought, and extreme heat. This makes them a very beginner-friendly plant. The taste profile is chewy and flavorful with a slightly bitter and sweet taste. You can eat them in their fresh or dried form, and they do well in cakes or cookies.
Cranberries are one type of berry everyone automatically thinks about come Thanksgiving as sauce. They have a very fresh and tart flavor to them, and they get used for making juice, pies, jams, and alcohol. You’ll get a slightly sour taste with them, even though they have a higher sugar content. They also have vegetable oil in them, and they’re a very popular supplement.
Cranberries are grown in wetlands, and this makes them very hard to grow on your own. They need very acidic peat soil with constant moisture. They have a long growing season too that stretches from April to late November. The berries float on the water, and they’re very dense, round, and have a bright red coloring to them.
Blueberries make an excellent companion plant. They’re a very juicy and sweet type of berry, and this is why many people choose to eat them raw. You can add them to several sauces and baked goods too, and blueberry wine is also getting popular. They have a tangy finish on them to help balance out the sweetness too. The deep blue coloring makes this a stunning decorative food.
To grow this type of berry, you’ll need a very acidic soil. Your pH levels should fall between 4.5 and 5.5, and they need medium moisture levels in a well-draining soil. They have antioxidant properties, and they’re higher in carbohydrates and have a low-fat content. Blueberries ripen between June and August.
Blackberries grow wild in the Pacific Northwest and South regions, and they like very moist and fertile soil with mild winters. You can also get newer varieties of blackberries that are hardy and able to survive the colder zone six regions. They have a sweet-sour taste to them, and they’re very closely related to raspberries. They’re slightly larger than raspberries though.
Blackberries have small seeds that are safe to eat, and they contain high amounts of Vitamins K1 and C, as well as manganese. You can use this type of berry to make cobblers, pies, jams, and cheesecakes. They bake very well, and you can create simple syrups with them too.
These 25 types of berries are all ones you can eat, and you can get most of them fresh. Some are better powdered or dried, and they all bring different flavor profiles to the plate. We encourage you to pick up a few you haven’t tried and see if you like them. You never know, you may even want to start growing them in your own garden.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.