Red raspberry

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Rubus idaeus L.

Common name(s): red raspberry, American red raspberry

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)



-leaves are

  • compound
  • finely toothed
  • deeply veined

-fleshy fruit

– ID without flowers or fruit can be difficult; hybridizes with black raspberry and blackberry

– the white rasp stays on the plant when picking raspberry; in blackberry, the rasp stays in the fruit

– blackberry generally has larger thorns and squared stems; raspberry generally has prickles and round stems

– generally flowers late May to late July in ME

– may be confused with R. occidentalis; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage


-one of the first species to colonize after logging or a fire

-open spaces

-disturbed sites

-forest edges

-meadows and fields



-dependent on bees and pollinators so it can produce its fruit

-berries are eaten by bears, coyotes, other mammals, and birds



Hansen, R.W., S.B. Hansen and E.A. Osgood. 1991. Reproductive phenologies of selected flowering plants in eastern Maine forests. ME Agric. Exp. Station Tech. Bull. 143. 17 pp.

Go Botany. “Rubus Idaeus L.” Rubus Idaeus (Red Raspberry): Go Botany, 2021,