Home Fruit Gardens: Table 7.1. Recommended Raspberry Varieties for Pennsylvania

Informational table showing recommended raspberry varieties for Pennsylvania.
Home Fruit Gardens: Table 7.1. Recommended Raspberry Varieties for Pennsylvania - Articles


Red Raspberries (Summer fruiting)

Early Season

Boyne: Very winter hardy and productive. Berries are dark red and small to medium-sized. Plants are naturally short.

Lauren: Plants are vigorous but canes tend to winterkill so should be grown in protected locations or only in warmer locations in the state. Canes are brittle and may break so should be trellised. Fruit is very large with good flavor and firmness.

Prelude: Produces a light fall crop on primocanes, with most of the fruit produced in summer. In warmer areas and during warmer falls, more fall fruit is produced, limiting the summer crop. Berries are dark red, small to medium size, and mildly flavored. Preferred by Japanese beetles. Canes are very dense.

Reveille: An older very early variety with good cold hardiness and vigor. Fruit is too soft for shipping. Flavor is good, size is intermediate, and productivity is fair. May be difficult to find a source of plants.


Canby: Canes are moderately winter-hardy and nearly thornless. Productive with medium to large-sized fruit. Very susceptible to phytophthora root rot.

Killarney: An old cold-hardy variety. Fruit is light-colored and sweet, and small to medium in size. Needs trellis support.

Latham: An older variety with excellent cold hardiness. While powdery mildew susceptible, the plant tolerates viruses fairly well. Fruit flavor is acceptable, firmness good, and it has a relatively long bearing season. Berry size is small to medium.Nova: Produces a small fall crop on primocanes, but most of its fruit during the summer. Fruit is medium to large and firm with very good flavor. Fruit must be fully ripe in order to release from the receptacle. Fruit ripens gradually over a long harvest season. Nearly thornless. Good vigor and winter hardiness. Resistant to cane diseases and late leaf rust.Titan: A e productive cultivar with mild-flavored large dark-red soft fruit. Particularly susceptible to Phytophthora root rot and has poor to moderate winter hardiness, but is resistant to raspberry aphid, which spreads some viruses.


Encore: A late-season variety with large berries that have good flavor. Plants can be winter-damaged. Canes are nearly spineless.

K81-6: Vigorous plants that are especially susceptible to phytophthora root rot and fire blight. Fruit is large and firm with fair flavor.

Taylor: Medium fruit size, excellent flavor, and intermediate winter hardiness. Susceptible to raspberry mosaic, two-spotted spider mites, and fungal diseases.

Red Raspberries (Primocane Fruiting)

Bloom in mid-summer, and depending on variety begins fruiting in August or September. Plants continue to bear fruit until the first heavy frost or freeze.

Early – ripening about 2-3 weeks ahead of Heritage

Autumn Bliss: Primocane berries begin ripening about 2 weeks earlier than Heritage, so a full crop can be matured in cooler regions of the state. Susceptible to viruses. Berries are medium-sized and average in flavor. Fruit is soft in warm areas.

Caroline: Produces dense stands of canes of various heights, and has a long harvest season. Berries are medium in size with excellent flavor. Generally very productive.

Jaclyn: The earliest of the primocane-fruiting cultivars. Produces long conic berries that can be difficult to pull from the plant. Fruit is a bit soft when temperatures are high. Flavor is good to excellent. Plants are productive.

Joan J: Fruit is medium in size, glossy, and dark red with fair flavor. Canes are spineless and plants are vigorous and productive.

Polana: Produces beautiful conic berries with only fair flavor. Tends to produce fruit with two receptacles which results in berries that break apart into two halves. This problem is thought to be related to high temperatures.

Polka: Large firm fruit with good flavor. Fruit is conic in shape and bright red. Attractive to Japanese beetles and potato leafhoppers.

Mid-season – ripening within a week of Heritage

Autumn Britten: Fruit is large and uniform with excellent flavor. Produces fewer new canes than other varieties, so should be planted closer together in the row than usual (18 to 20" apart).

Dinkum: A flavorful firm berry that is attractive to leafhoppers. Plants may be difficult to source.

Heritage: The traditional standard fall-bearing variety. Medium-sized firm fruit with excellent quality. Season begins in late August in Pennsylvania and continues through severe frost or freeze. The fruit tolerate light frosts well. Plants are very vigorous and sucker well. Plantings are durable and longer-lived than with other varieties.

Himbo Top: Produces large conic bright red fruit. Produces very long fruiting laterals so trellising is needed. Plants produce few suckers so planting closer together (18" apart in the row) is helpful.

Crimson Night: Produces large very dark red conic fruit with a sweet distinctive flavor. On the late side of mid-season. Produces a dark red jam.

Late season – ripening 2-3 weeks after Heritage

Nantahala: Produces large light-colored berries with excellent intense flavor. Produces very late so best suited for tunnel culture or other protected culture in cool areas.

Josephine: Produces large very firm berries with excellent flavor. Also produces a nice crop on floricanes if canes are kept for a second fruiting year. Very late so best suited for tunnel culture or other protected culture in cool areas.

Crimson Giant: Extremely late, producing a full month after Heritage. Fruit is large, firm, and bright red with excellent flavor.

Gold raspberries (Primocane-bearing)

Anne: A very late berry that ripens 2-3 weeks after Heritage. Fruit is large and firm with excellent unique flavor having overtones of banana. Plants send up relatively sparse canes, so should be planted closer together than usual (16-18" inches apart in the row). Produces a nice summer crop if canes are retained.

Double Gold: Very flavorful tender berries with a peach-colored blush. Is so-named because it is suited to producing both a fall and summer crop. Fall crop is quite late. Resistant to Phytophthora root rot.

Goldie: A sport of Heritage that is similar in every way to Heritage except for color. Develops an apricot blush when very ripe.

Kiwigold: Also a sport of Heritage, so it has a very similar season and other characteristics to Heritage, though a bit later to ripen. Develops a slight apricot blush.

Fallgold: Fruit is soft and extremely flavorful, sometimes developing a reddish blush, and has excellent flavor. It ripens with ‘Heritage’ in the fall and is moderately winter hardy.

Black raspberries (Summer-fruiting)

Bristol: An excellent-quality, early berry borne on a vigorous plant. Plants are cold hardy and very productive. Plants are very susceptible to anthracnose.

Jewel: The most commonly-grown black raspberry variety. It is more vigorous, has larger fruit, and has better overall disease resistance than ‘Bristol.’

Munger: A very old variety that is currently the basis of the black raspberry processing in the Pacific Northwest. Susceptible to viruses. Fruit is smaller than for other varieties.

Mac Black: Extends the black raspberry production season by 7 to 10 days. Canes are vigorous and stocky. Fruit is large and seeds are also larger.

Black raspberries (Primocane-fruiting)

Niwot: The only black raspberry variety that is primocane-fruiting. Plant can also produce a nice summer crop, resulting in the term "double-cropping". Berries are large and fairly seedy. Double receptacles are sometimes formed, causing berries to separate into two halves when harvested – a trait which is thought to be related to hot temperatures.

Purple Raspberries

Bloom in June, harvested in late July to mid-August in central Pennsylvania. Generally fruit after red raspberries.

Brandywine: A round tart reddish-purple fruit. It is very vigorous, with good winter hardiness and fruit firmness. Vigorous with noticeable thorns. Susceptible to crown gall.

Royalty: Cone-shaped very large fruit that is sweeter than ‘Brandywine.’ Fruit is too soft for shipping, although it can be picked early for this purpose. It suckers freely from roots, so it grows more like a red raspberry in hedgerows. It is resistant to raspberry aphid, which spreads some viruses. Susceptible to crown gall.

Glencoe: Though released in 1989, this variety has only recently received attention in the U.S. for home gardens. Fruit is medium-sized, firm, and has intense flavor.