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Boysenberry vs. Marionberry — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 4, 2023
Boysenberry is a large, juicy cross among various berries; marionberry is a type of blackberry with a slightly tart flavor.
Boysenberry vs. Marionberry — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Boysenberry and Marionberry


Key Differences

Boysenberries are hybrid fruits, a cross between blackberries, raspberries, and loganberries. They are large, with a juicy and slightly tangy flavor, and are known for their deep maroon color. Marionberries, a type of blackberry developed in Oregon, are slightly smaller and have a brighter, more intense taste. They are often described as the "Cabernet of Blackberries" due to their complex, rich flavor and are a staple in the Pacific Northwest.
The boysenberry was developed in the United States in the early 20th century and named after its originator, Rudolph Boysen. Boysenberries tend to have a short harvest season and do not store or ship well, making them less common in markets. Marionberries, named after Marion County in Oregon, were released in 1956 and quickly became a favorite for their flavor and hardiness, which allows for easier distribution.
In terms of culinary use, boysenberries are versatile, used in pies, jams, and syrups, and are known for their balance of sweet and tart. Marionberries share similar uses and are prized for their vibrant color and slightly more robust flavor, which holds up well in cooking and baking, making them a favorite for jams, desserts, and sauces.
Nutritionally, both berries are similar, offering high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Boysenberries may have a slight edge in vitamin K content, while marionberries are particularly high in vitamin C. Both berries are healthful choices, contributing to a well-rounded diet.
In horticulture, boysenberries are recognized for their trailing vines and large fruit, requiring a trellis for support. Marionberry plants are also trailing and prolific but are known for their disease resistance and the ability to thrive in a variety of climates, making them a more common berry plant in home gardens.

Comparison Chart


Cross of blackberry, raspberry, loganberry
Type of blackberry


Deep maroon
Dark purple to black


Juicy, sweet-tart
Bright, slightly tart

Harvest Season

Longer than boysenberry


Does not store or ship well
Hardier, stores and ships better


Less common due to fragility
Widely grown in the Pacific Northwest

Culinary Uses

Pies, jams, syrups
Jams, desserts, sauces

Vitamin Content

Higher in vitamin K
Higher in vitamin C

Plant Growth

Trailing vines, requires trellis
Trailing, disease-resistant, hardy

Compare with Definitions


A large, juicy berry, hybrid of various berries.
The boysenberry pie won first prize at the fair.


A dark purple to black, slightly tart berry.
She topped her yogurt with fresh marionberries.


A berry known for its deep maroon color.
The boysenberry's color is as rich as its taste.


Known as the "Cabernet of Blackberries" for its flavor profile.
The marionberry coulis complemented the chocolate tart.


A soft, large, and aggregate fruit.
Fresh boysenberries are perfect for homemade jam.


A type of blackberry with a complex, rich flavor.
Marionberry jam is a delicacy in Oregon.


A fruit with a short season and high perishability.
Boysenberries are in season for a limited time each year.


A berry developed in Marion County, Oregon.
The marionberry plants thrive in our backyard.


A crossbred berry with a sweet and slightly tart flavor.
She swirled boysenberry sauce over the cheesecake.


A berry favored for its versatility in cooking and baking.
Marionberries make the best filling for pies.


The boysenberry is a cross among the European raspberry (Rubus idaeus), European blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), American dewberry (Rubus aboriginum), and loganberry (Rubus × loganobaccus).It is a large 8.0-gram (0.28 oz) aggregate fruit, with large seeds and a deep maroon color.


The marionberry (Rubus L. subgenus Rubus) is a cultivar of blackberry developed by the USDA ARS breeding program in cooperation with Oregon State University. A cross between the 'Chehalem' and 'Olallie' varieties, it is the most common form of blackberry cultivated.


A usually prickly shrub that is a hybrid of a western North American blackberry (Rubus ursinus) and is cultivated for its edible, dark red to nearly black fruit.


A member of the blackberry family, a cross between the Chehalem berry and olallieberry blackberries.


The fruit of this plant.


A hybrid berry created from crossing blackberry, red raspberry, and loganberry.


A colour of the purple colour spectrum, based on the same fruit's colour, whose hexadecimal code is #873260, RGB is rgb(135, 50, 96), CMYK is (63%, 29%, 47%) and HSL is hsl(328°, 46%, 36%).


A cultivated hybrid bramble of California having large dark wine-red fruit with a raspberrylike flavor.


A large raspberry-flavored bramble fruit; a cross between blackberries and raspberries.


Cultivated hybrid bramble of California having large dark wine-red fruit with a flavor resembling raspberries


Large raspberry-flavored fruit; cross between blackberries and raspberries

Common Curiosities

Are marionberries good for you?

Yes, marionberries are rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.

How does a marionberry differ from a regular blackberry?

Marionberries are a type of blackberry with a particularly vibrant flavor and are larger and more elongated.

Can boysenberries be eaten raw?

Yes, boysenberries can be enjoyed raw when in season.

What dishes are marionberries used in?

Marionberries are used in a variety of dishes, including pies, jams, and savory sauces.

When is boysenberry season?

Boysenberry season typically peaks in summer, particularly July.

Can you grow marionberries at home?

Yes, marionberries can be grown at home, especially in climates similar to the Pacific Northwest.

What is a boysenberry?

Boysenberry is a hybrid fruit, a cross among various berries, known for its size and sweet-tart flavor.

Do boysenberries have seeds?

Yes, like other berries, boysenberries contain small seeds.

Why are boysenberries not commonly found in stores?

Boysenberries are delicate and have a short shelf-life, which makes them harder to transport and store.

Where are marionberries grown?

Marionberries are primarily grown in Oregon, in the United States.

How should boysenberries be stored?

Boysenberries should be refrigerated and eaten quickly after purchase.

Are marionberries and boysenberries interchangeable in recipes?

While they have distinct flavors, they can often be used interchangeably in recipes.

What is the best way to eat boysenberries?

Boysenberries are versatile and can be eaten fresh, in desserts, or as preserves.

Are marionberries available year-round?

Fresh marionberries are seasonal, but frozen ones are often available year-round.

Can boysenberries be frozen for later use?

Yes, boysenberries can be frozen, although they may become softer upon thawing.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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