Raspberry

RaspberryRaspberry — The raspberry (plural, raspberries) is the edible fruit of a number of species of the genus Rubus; the name also applies to these plants themselves. The name originally referred to the European species Rubus idaeus, with red fruit, and is still used for that species as its standard English name in its native area. Several other species, mostly closely related in the same subgenus Idaeobatus, are now also called raspberries.

Raspberries are an important commercial fruit crop, widely grown in all temperate regions of the world. Many of the most important modern commercial red raspberry cultivars derive from hybrids between R. idaeus and R. strigosus. Some botanists consider the Eurasian and American red raspberries to all belong to a single, circumboreal species, Rubus idaeus, with the European plants then classified as either R. idaeus subsp. idaeus or R. idaeus var. idaeus, and the native North American red raspberries classified as either R. idaeus subsp. strigosus, or R. idaeus var. strigosus.

The black raspberry, Rubus occidentalis, is also occasionally cultivated in the United States, providing fresh and frozen fruit, as well as jams, preserves, and other products, all with that species’ distinctive, richer flavor.

Purple-fruited raspberries have been produced by horticultural hybridization of red and black raspberries, and have also been found in the wild in a few places (for example, in Vermont) where the American red and the black raspberries both grow naturally. The name Rubus × neglectus has been applied to these native American plants. Commercial production of purple raspberries is rare.

The commercially grown red and black raspberry species each have albino-like pale-fruited variants, generally due to expression of recessive genes affecting production of anthocyanin pigments. Variously called golden, orange, or yellow raspberries, these fruits retain the distinctive flavor of their respective species, despite their similarity of appearance. In the eastern United States, at least, most commercially sold pale-fruited raspberries are derivatives of red raspberries. Yellow-fruited variants of the black raspberry occur occasionally as wild plants (for example, in Ohio), and are sometimes grown in home gardens.

Raspberries contain significant amounts of polyphenol antioxidants such as anthocyanin pigments linked to potential health protection against several human diseases. The aggregate fruit structure contributes to its nutritional value, as it increases the proportion of dietary fiber, placing it among plant foods with the highest fiber contents known, up to 20% fiber per total weight. Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, with 30 mg per serving of 1 cup (about 50% daily value), manganese (about 60% daily value) and dietary fiber (30% daily value). Contents of B vitamins 1-3, folic acid, magnesium, copper and iron are considerable in raspberries.

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