Raspberry varieties: popular types of summer & autumn raspberries


With a passion for growing installed at an early age, I have always been happiest outdoors in nature. After training as a professional gardener and horticultural therapist, I currently run horticultural therapy and community kitchen gardens in the UK, helping others access the many physical and mental health benefits of growing vegetables, fruit and plants.

Favourite fruit: apples and pears
Favourite vegetable: asparagus

Delicious jewels of the summer garden, raspberries are heavy cropping, easy to care for and deserve a place in every garden.

Different coloured raspberries
Raspberries are available in an array of different colours

Being able to pick your own homegrown raspberries (Rubus idaeus) is one of life’s little joys, especially when they are so easy to grow and care for. Enjoyed for centuries and best eaten as fresh as possible straight off the canes, raspberries are perennial and part of the Rosaceae family. Split into summer and autumn fruiting varieties, raspberries are not only available in their characteristic red but in yellow and black as well. Read on to discover some of the tastiest varieties available to grow here in the UK.

What different types of raspberries are there?

Separated into summer fruiting (floricane-fruiting) and autumn fruiting (primocane-fruiting) varieties, if grown together you could be harvesting raspberries from late June right up until October. Available in pots or as bare root raspberry canes, raspberries are easy to plant and can remain highly productive for 10 to 15 years.

Summer fruiting raspberry characteristics:

  • Crop earlier in the year from June onwards
  • Larger and more vigorous plants
  • Heavy cropping, but a shorter season
  • Need supporting more than autumn fruiting varieties
  • Can be more susceptible to raspberry diseases and pests

Autumn fruiting raspberry characteristics:

  • Crop from August until October or the first frosts
  • More manageable yields over a longer raspberry harvesting period
  • Simpler to prune
  • Can need supporting

As well as the long-grown characteristically red raspberry, varieties are now available that produce black and even yellow fruits. However, they tend to be slightly less hardy and not crop as heavily.

Summer raspberries

Summer fruiting raspberry varieties can be further divided into groups of early, mid and late season fruiting, but they all bear fruit from June to August.

Ripe red raspberries on plant
Raspberries are available in summer and autumn fruiting varieties [Photo: MareMarkovic/ Shutterstock.com]

Red summer raspberry varieties

The following red varieties are all summer fruiting and are listed in order of cropping time:

  • ‘Malling Promise‘: the earliest variety, large bright red fruits, heavy cropping, vigorous growth, good for poor soil.
  • ‘Glen Moy‘: early fruiting, large conical fruits, heavy cropping, good flavour.
  • ‘Glen Mor‘: early variety, high yielding, superb flavour, large red fruits, good resistance to root rot (Phytophthora fragariae var. rubi).
  • Glen Rosa‘: early to mid season, small to medium red fruits, impressive yields, hardy, good resistance to cane disease and viruses.
Red raspberries on a plant
Raspberry ‘Malling Promise‘ is one of the first summer fruiting varieties to crop [Photo: giedre vaitekune/ Shutterstock.com]
  • ‘Malling Delight‘: early to mid season, large red fruits, heavy cropping, good resistance to aphids and viruses.
  • ‘Malling Jewel‘: mid season variety, medium to large fruits, sweet flavour, compact growth, good resistance to grey mould (Botrytis cinerea).
  • ‘Glen Lyon‘: mid season variety, spineless canes, impressive yields, firm red fruits, compact growth, requires good soil.
  • ‘Glen Prosen‘: mid season fruiting, spineless canes, strong and upright growth, heavy cropping red fruits, good aphid resistance.
  • ‘Malling Admiral‘: mid season variety, spineless canes, heavy cropping, large conical fruits, excellent flavour, good virus resistance.
Raspberries ready to harvest
Some raspberry varieties have been bred to produce spineless canes, making harvesting easier [Photo: Sever180/ Shutterstock.com]
  • ‘Cascade Delight‘: late summer variety, bred in the U.S. , large red fruits, very sweet flavour, vigorous growth, good resistance to root rot.
  • ‘Glen Magna‘: late season, large dark red fruits, sweet flavour, impressive yields, good resistance to viruses.
  • ‘Octavia‘: late season, large firm fruits, sweet flavour, heavy cropping along full length of canes.
  • ‘Malling Leo‘: very late fruiting, large firm fruits, vigorous growth, good resistance to grey mould and aphids.
  • ‘Tulameen‘: late fruiting with a long season, large conical fruits, sweet flavour, high yielding.
Tulameen ripe and ready raspberries
Raspberry ‘Tulameen‘ produces large red fruits over a long period [Photo: caifas/ Shutterstock.com]

Tip: weather can affect raspberry harvesting times, which can be confusing because some late summer varieties may overlap with early autumn raspberries. In any case, for a continuous supply for weeks on end, a selection of both summer and autumn varieties is recommended.

Yellow summer raspberry varieties

Yellow summer fruiting raspberries are grown and cared for in a similar way as red summer varieties but differ greatly in colour and slightly in taste:

  • ‘Yellow Antwerp‘: heritage, summer fruiting variety, small yellow to golden fruits, deliciously sweet, relatively compact with a height of 120 to 150cm and erect canes.
  • ‘Golden Everest‘: mid season, sweet flavour, golden-yellow fruits, stores well when frozen.
Golden Everest yellow raspberry fruit
Raspberry ‘Golden Everest‘ produces yellow berries with a superb flavour [Photo: Manfred Ruckszio/ Shutterstock.com]

Autumn raspberries

Autumn fruiting raspberries crop from August until the first frosts and are easy to care for because all the canes are simply pruned back to ground level in late winter. As with summer fruiting raspberries, autumn varieties can be red, yellow or even black.

Autumn bliss raspberry variety
Raspberry ‘Autumn Bliss‘ is one of the most popular autumn fruiting varieties [Photo: john mobbs/ Shutterstock.com]

Red autumn raspberry varieties

  • ‘Autumn Bliss’: one of the earliest autumn varieties, fruits from August onwards, heavy yields, good flavour, sturdy canes, widely grown.
  • Polka’: very early variety, long harvest period, large red fruits, hardy and reliable, great flavour.
  • ‘September‘: fruits from early September, superb flavour, large fruits, can cope with little rain.
Polka variety raspberry plant
Raspberry ‘Polka‘ is one of the first autumn raspberries to produce fruit [Photo: Peter Turner Photography/ Shutterstock.com]
  • ‘Zeva‘: fruits from August or September onwards, large dark red berries, high yielding.
  • ‘Joan J‘: early autumn fruiting variety, very large fruits, spineless, heavy cropping, stores well when frozen.
  • ‘Heritage‘: fruits from late August onwards, firm and juicy fruits, vigorous erect canes, excellent flavour, good resistance to powdery mildew (Podosphaera macularis).
  • ‘Autumn Treasure‘: fruits from August, large bright red fruits, sweet flavour, spineless canes, good resistance to verticillium wilt (Verticillium dahliae) and powdery mildew.
Heritage variety raspberry plant
Raspberry ‘Heritage‘ is an autumn fruiting variety with firm and juicy berries [Photo: Xiao Zhou/ Shutterstock.com]

Tip: raspberries thrive in moist fertile soil and benefit from an annual mulching with well-rotted manure or compost in early spring, which will help conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Along with a mulch, feed raspberry plants in spring with a fertiliser high in potassium. Our granular Plantura Tomato Food is ideal as it is rich in potassium and releases slowly and will feed the plants for up to three months.

Container grown raspberries need their nutrients replenished more frequently. During the growing season, feed using a high potassium liquid feed, such as our Plantura Liquid Tomato Food, to encourage a great harvest.

Liquid Tomato Food, 800ml
Liquid Tomato Food, 800ml
  • Perfect for tomatoes & other vegetables
  • Liquid fertiliser for healthy plant growth & an abundant harvest
  • Quick & easy application - child & pet friendly

Yellow autumn raspberry varieties

More readily available than the summer yellow or golden raspberry, yellow autumn varieties are grown and pruned in the same way as red autumn raspberries and produce fruit from the end of summer into the autumn:

  • ‘Allgold‘: fruits from August, large yellow fruits, superb flavour, compact habit, suitable for containers.
  • ‘Fallgold‘: fruits from August, medium to large golden fruits, sweet flavour, heavy cropping, strong upright canes.
Yellow raspberries on a plant
Yellow raspberries are grown and cared for in the same way as red varieties [Photo: Wiert nieuman/ Shutterstock.com]
  • ‘Kiwi Gold‘: fruits in August, medium size golden fruits, very sweet flavour, new variety from New Zealand.
  • ‘Summer Lovers Patio Gold’: fruits from July, spineless, round golden fruits, compact, with a maximum height of 100cm it is good for growing in containers.

Purple or black raspberry varieties

For something really unusual, black or purple raspberries (Rubus occidentalis) are different from those listed above but are grown and cared for in the same way as summer varieties. Black raspberries, which are darker in colour due to high levels of the pigment anthocyanins, are higher in antioxidants and are sometimes referred to as a superfood. Even though they are tricky to source, here are two stunning purple and black varieties:

  • ‘Black Jewel’: summer fruiting, black rounded fruits, superb flavour, good disease resistance.
  • ‘Glen Coe’: summer fruiting, purple rounded fruits, very sweet flavour, spineless, suitable for containers.
Black coloured raspberry fruits
Black or purple raspberries are higher in antioxidant levels [Photo: Bernd Marczak/ Shutterstock.com]

Double cropping raspberries

Some autumn raspberry varieties, such as ‘Joan J’ can be pruned to crop twice during the growing season, producing a slightly larger harvest. To double crop your autumn raspberries, instead of pruning all the canes to the ground in winter, only prune two-thirds to the ground and reduce the remaining canes to 1m high. The lesser-pruned canes will produce an earlier crop, after which they can be fully pruned back.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the Japanese wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius) is also a type of raspberry due to its similar appearance and the fact that it is also sometimes known as the Japanese raspberry. However, it is a different species than the raspberries listed above. Learn more about the Japanese wineberry here.

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