Raspberries are an important commercial fruit crop, widely grown in all temperate regions of the world. Purple raspberries have been produced by horticultural hybridisation of red and black raspberries, and have also been found in the wild in a few places.Raspberries are grown for the fresh fruit market and for commercial processing into individually quick frozen fruit, puree, 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.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.The flowers can be a major nectar souse for honey bees and other pollinators.
Greek stories, the berries were once white but when Zeus’ nursemaid, Ida, pricked her finger on a thorn it stained the berries red and they have remained so ever since. The scientific name for red raspberries, Rubus idaeus, means literally “bramble bush of Ida”, named both for the nursemaid and the mountain where they grew on the island of Crete.
While there is historical evidence that the raspberry was valued for its sweet berries, more value was likely placed on the leaves which have long been used in medicinal preparations. The leaves are still used in herbal teas or tisane to sooth the digestive system and to help soothe menstrual cramps.