Similarities And Differences Between Boysenberries vs. Mulberries

Berries are probably one of the best things during the summer months. They are sweet, they are healthy, and they are decadent. With so many types of berries, people can often mix them up and confuse them with each other. 

In truth, boysenberries and mulberries are pretty similar, which often causes people to confuse them with each other. Both are small berries that grow on bushes/trees during the same time of year. Aside from their similarities, some basic differences have to do with their coloring, their varieties, and their flavors. 

Moving forward, we will discuss some similarities and differences between these berries. If you are interested in what makes these two berries uniquely amazing, keep reading! 

What Are Boysenberries 

Boysenberries are small clustered fruits that grow on semi-tall caning plants. These plants look very similar to other very plants, having opposite leaves. The berries themselves are oblong shaped, and a dark purple-black color. 

The plants grow best from spring to summer, and usually produce fruit in that time frame as well. According to most sources, boysenberries taste like a sweet cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. In other words, they have a unique tartness (like a raspberry), while also having a delicate sweetness (like a blackberry). 

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Boysenberries are so popular in fact, that there is even a theme park based on them! 

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What Are Mulberries 

Mulberries are long clusters of fruit that grow on a deciduous tree native to Asia. They are usually a little harder to find when compared to boysenberries, but their taste is definitely worth it. According to most sources, mulberries have a mix of sweet and tart flavors, as well as also having some fragrant spice/woody flavors.

Mulberries are a very popular berry to turn into jams or syrups due to its relatively high sugar content. In fact, mulberry preserves make an excellent gift.

Similarities Between Boysenberries And Mulberries 

Now that you have a basic idea of what these two berries are, we can talk about some of the many similarities between them. Knowing these differences can help you understand why so many people mix them up, and can give you an idea on some basic characteristics of berries. 

Boysenberries And Mulberries Are Aggregate Fruits 

One of the main characteristics between these berries is that they are aggregate fruits. In other words, these berries are composed of many separate smaller fruits. This can be seen in their circular segmentations along the berry. 

This also means that technically these fruits are not considered to be “berries” botanically. 

Boysenberries And Mulberries Have Similar Base Flavors 

Aside from their separate unique flavor characteristics, both of these berries have a pretty common base flavor. As with most berries, boysenberries and mulberries both have a nice balance of sweet and tart components. 

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Boysenberries And Mulberries Have A Similar Color 

Another common similarity between these berries is their ripe color. For most common varieties of these berries, the fruit begins growing with a tan or green color. After ripening, the fruit develops into a gorgeous dark purple or black color, occasionally with some lighter red bits. 

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Boysenberries And Mulberries Don’t Last Long 

As with most berries, these two don’t tend to last long once they are off of the plant. For most varieties, these berries will only last a few days once picked. 

Due to their short shelf-life, most people opt to freeze the fruit for storage. Although sources differ, frozen fruit can last a very long time

Boysenberries And Mulberries Grow Around The Same Time 

One last similarity between these berries has to do with their growing time. Again, with most varieties of plants, boysenberries and mulberries will grow and produce fruits throughout spring and summer. 

Even more specifically, these berries are both characterized by a period of rapid growth in the spring, followed by a period of bearing fruit in the early to mid-summer months. 

Differences Between Boysenberry And Mulberry 

As you can probably guess from all of the similarities, these berries have a lot in common with each other. Due to these similarities, people often have a hard time distinguishing the berries from one another. Luckily, there are a few specific characteristics that distinguish these berries. 

Mulberries Grow On Trees 

One main difference between these berries is on what type of plants they grow. To be specific, boysenberries grow on caning plants that extend from the ground with one stem adorned with leaves. 

In comparison, mulberries actually grow on small trees, with semi-large woody trunks and broad-leaves. Their flowers grow from the trunks/branches, and the berries grow off of the tree similar to fruits such as cherries. 

Mulberries Can Come In Different Colors 

As mentioned, most varieties of these berries grow dark purple or black fruit. There is some variation though depending on what species of mulberry you are growing. 

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Depending on mulberry species, you have the option of growing white, yellow, or even pink fruit, whereas boysenberries can only really grow black. 

Boysenberries Are A Crossed Variety 

Another interesting difference between these berries is that boysenberries are actually a crossed/hybrid variety. It is believed that boysenberries were created in America in the 1920’s by crossing raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries. 

On the other hand, mulberries are a natural berry that arose in Asia. Aside from creating specific varieties, mulberries were created in nature on their own. 

Mulberries Have A More Unique Flavor

Again, both of these berries have a pretty similar base flavor, consisting of some sweet and tart notes at the same time. Boysenberries really stop with this base flavor, whereas mulberries are noted to have more nuance. 

In addition to the base sweet and tart flavor, mulberries are also noted to have some woody or spicy hints to their flavor. This nuanced flavor is one of the many reasons why people opt to make mulberries into jams, jellies, and syrups. 

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In the end, boysenberries and mulberries have a lot of similarities between them. These similarities often cause people to confuse them with each other. Some of the most common similarities include:

  • Growing as aggregate fruits 
  • Having similar base flavors 
  • Having similar colors 
  • Not have a long shelf-life
  • Growing around the same time 

In contrast, these berries also have a lot of differences that can help you distinguish them from each other. Some of the most common differences include: 

  • Mulberries grow on trees while boysenberries don’t
  • Mulberries can come in a variety of colors while boysenberries can’t 
  • Boysenberries are a crossed hybrid while Mulberries arose naturally 
  • Mulberries have a more complex and nuanced flavor 

Although these berries have distinct similarities and differences between them, both have their own unique characteristics that make them delicious!