Photo: Arne Ader
Because of their woody stems raspberries are classified as shrubs although they are only biennials. In the first year they only grow leaves. The leaves are greener on the upper side, the undersides are lighter and sparsely hairy. In the second year the woody stems carry flowers, and now, berries that ripen unevenly; so one stem can be harvested many times. In the autumn the fruit-bearing cane dies, but a new stem has already grown from the rhizome.
Raspberries are common plants in fresh forests, road margins, forest boundary lines and other clearings until the young forest overgrows them: raspberries love much light.
Botanically the raspberry “berries” are aggregates of drupes – that means that the “berry“ consists of small grain-like drupes and there are several tens of them in one fruit. Sometimes the raspberries are “maggoty“ or we might find a hefty larva in the fruit – it is no worm but a beetle larva. Raspberries are damaged by the raspberry beetle (Byturus tomentosus); they disappear in August, going into the soil to pupate; in autumn new raspberry beetles already appear and winter in the soil. Next year in June the beetles lay their eggs on young raspberries; and that is the annual life cycle of the raspberry beetle.