The raspberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus of the rose family, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves. Raspberries are perennial with woody stems.
Raspberry derives its name from raspise, “a sweet rose-colored wine” (mid-15th century), from the Anglo-Latin vinum raspeys, or from raspoie, meaning “thicket”, of Germanic origin. The name may have been influenced by its appearance as having a rough surface related to Old English rasp or “rough berry”.
Raspberries are grown for the fresh fruit market and for commercial processing into individually quick frozen (IQF) fruit, purée, juice, or as dried fruit used in a variety of grocery products. Traditionally, raspberries were a midsummer crop, but with new technology, cultivars, and transportation, they can now be obtained year-round. Raspberries need ample sun and water for optimal development. Raspberries thrive in well-drained soil with a pH between 6 and 7 with ample organic matter to assist in retaining water. While moisture is essential, wet and heavy soils or excess irrigation can bring on Phytophthora root rot, which is one of the most serious pest problems facing the red raspberry. As a cultivated plant in moist, temperate regions, it is easy to grow and has a tendency to spread unless pruned. Escaped raspberries frequently appear as garden weeds, spread by seeds found in bird droppings.
An individual raspberry weighs 3–5 g (0.11–0.18 oz), and is made up of around 100 drupelets, each of which consists of a juicy pulp and a single central seed. A raspberry bush can yield several hundred berries a year. Unlike blackberries and dewberries, a raspberry has a hollow core once it is removed from the receptacle.
Raw raspberries are 86% water, 12% carbohydrates, and have about 1% each of protein and fat. In a 100 gram amount, raspberries supply 53 calories.
The aggregate fruit structure contributes to raspberry’s nutritional value, as it increases the proportion of dietary fiber, which is among the highest known in whole foods, up to 6% fiber per total weight. Raspberries are a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin C (32% DV), manganese (32% DV) and dietary fiber (26% DV). Raspberries are a low-glycemic index food, with total sugar content of only 4% and no starch.
Raspberry leaves can be used fresh or dried in herbal teas, providing an astringent flavor. In herbal and traditional medicine, raspberry leaves are used for some remedies, although there is no scientifically valid evidence to support their medicinal use.