Raspberries: The Surprising Truth About Their Family Tree

How raspberries tricked us all into thinking they are berries The truth will shock you!
Raspberries are not berries, they are drupelets. That means they are more related to peaches than strawberries.


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For those in a hurry

  • Raspberries are not berries, they are drupelets
  • Drupelets are tiny fruits with a single seed and a fleshy part
  • Raspberries belong to the same family as peaches, plums and cherries
  • Strawberries are also not berries, they are accessory fruits
  • Berries are fruits that have many seeds inside a fleshy pulp

What are drupelets?

You might think that raspberries are berries, but they are not. They are actually drupelets, which are tiny fruits that have a single seed and a fleshy part. Each raspberry is made up of many drupelets that are attached to a central core.

Drupelets are a type of simple fruit, which means they develop from a single ovary of a flower. Other examples of simple fruits are apples, pears and oranges.

How are raspberries related to peaches?

Raspberries belong to the same family as peaches, plums and cherries. This family is called Rosaceae, which includes about 3,000 species of plants. Some of them produce edible fruits, while others are ornamental or medicinal.

The Rosaceae family is divided into several subfamilies, and raspberries are in the subfamily Amygdaloideae. This subfamily contains the stone fruits, which are fruits that have a hard pit or stone inside. Peaches, plums and cherries are examples of stone fruits.

Raspberries and other drupelets are also considered stone fruits, because each drupelet has a tiny stone inside. However, they are different from peaches and plums in that they have many stones instead of one.

What are berries then?

Berries are fruits that have many seeds inside a fleshy pulp. They are also simple fruits, but they develop from flowers that have more than one ovary. Some examples of berries are blueberries, grapes and tomatoes.

Strawberries are also not berries, even though they look like them. They are actually accessory fruits, which means they develop from other parts of the flower besides the ovary. The red part of the strawberry is not the fruit, but the enlarged receptacle of the flower. The tiny seeds on the surface of the strawberry are the actual fruits.

Why does it matter?

You might wonder why it matters what kind of fruit raspberries are. Well, it might not matter much for your everyday life, but it can be interesting to learn more about the diversity and complexity of nature. Knowing how different fruits are classified can help you appreciate their unique features and characteristics.

It can also be useful for gardening or cooking purposes. For example, knowing that raspberries belong to the Rosaceae family can help you choose compatible plants to grow together or avoid pests and diseases. Knowing that raspberries are drupelets can help you understand their texture and flavor better.

So next time you enjoy some raspberries, remember that they are not berries, but drupelets. And that they have more in common with peaches than strawberries.