Boysenberry Rubus boysenberry, thornless (F)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
thornless boysenberry


Boysenberry, specifically the thornless variety, is a fruit-bearing perennial plant known for its large, juicy berries. The plant sports long, trailing canes that are devoid of the characteristic thorns found on many other berry bushes, making harvesting a much more pleasant task. The leaves are lush green, with a slightly wrinkled texture, and a shape that is both rounded and somewhat elongated, often with a finely toothed edge that gives them a jagged appearance. When the boysenberry comes into bloom, it produces flowers that are typically white or a very pale pink, with multiple petals surrounding a golden yellow center. These blossoms eventually give way to the plant's standout feature: the berries. Boysenberries are notably large and plump, with a deep reddish-purple hue that can appear almost black when fully ripe. The surface of the berries is covered in tiny hairs, which give them a slightly fuzzy texture. The berries grow in clusters, starting out green and gradually shifting through red shades before reaching their mature color. Each berry is made up of multiple small drupelets attached to a central core, a characteristic common to aggregate fruits. The fruit's size and shape can be somewhat irregular, but they tend to be elongated and conical. The juicy, sweet-tart flavor of the boysenberry makes it a favorite for fresh eating, jams, syrups, and desserts.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Boysenberry, Thornless Boysenberry.

    • Common names

      Rubus ursinus var. loganobaccus, Rubus loganobaccus, Rubus × loganobaccus.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Boysenberries are not toxic to humans when consumed as the ripe fruit. They are commonly eaten fresh, used in cooking, and are safe for human consumption. There are no known toxic substances in boysenberries that would cause symptoms of poisoning when the ripe fruit is ingested in typical amounts. However, individuals may have specific allergies or intolerances that could cause adverse reactions but this is not related to toxicity.

    • To pets

      Boysenberries are generally considered non-toxic to pets such as dogs and cats when consumed in small, ripe quantities. The fruit itself does not contain any known toxins that would typically be harmful to pets. However, it's always important to introduce any new food into your pet's diet gradually to monitor for any individual adverse reactions such as gastrointestinal upset. It's also important to ensure that pets do not consume the leaves or stems in large quantities or unripe fruit, as these can potentially cause mild stomach upset due to their fibrous nature, although they are not considered poisonous.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 meters)

    • Spread

      5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Edible Fruit: Boysenberries produce large, juicy fruits that are a cross between blackberries, raspberries, and loganberries, suitable for fresh consumption or in jams, pies, and desserts.
    • Garden Aesthetics: The thornless variety of boysenberry provides a safer, more user-friendly plant for gardens, enhancing the landscape without the risk of thorns.
    • Pollinator Attraction: Boysenberry plants attract bees and other pollinators, which are essential for the pollination of many other plants.
    • Ease of Harvest: Thornless boysenberries allow for a more comfortable harvesting experience, as there is no need to worry about getting pricked by thorns.
    • Wildlife Habitat: These plants can offer food and shelter to various species of wildlife, including birds and beneficial insects.
    • Soil Improvement: Like other berry plants, boysenberries can help to improve soil quality through their root systems and organic matter contribution.
    • Seasonal Interest: Boysenberry plants have a distinct growing cycle that contributes to the seasonal interest of a garden, with white flowers in spring and fruit in summer.
    • Adaptability: These plants can be trained along fences or trellises, making them adaptable to various garden designs and space constraints.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, boysenberry plants can tolerate periods of drought, making them suitable for xeriscaping or water-efficient gardening.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antioxidant properties: Boysenberry contains high levels of antioxidants, which can help protect the body from oxidative stress and may support overall health.
    • Vitamin C content: Being rich in vitamin C, boysenberry may support the immune system and aid in the prevention of scurvy.
    • Dietary fiber: Boysenberry is a good source of dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health and can prevent constipation.
    • Anti-inflammatory effects: The compounds found in boysenberry may have anti-inflammatory properties, which could be beneficial in reducing inflammation-related conditions.
    • Mineral content: Boysenberry contains various minerals including manganese and folate which are important for bone health and preventing birth defects, respectively.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Boysenberry plants can serve as a natural dye when the berries are crushed, providing a purple or deep red hue suitable for fabrics or crafts.
    • Used in landscape design, boysenberries, with their thornless vines, can create an attractive and safe edible hedge in gardens.
    • Dried boysenberry leaves can be infused to create herbal teas with a subtle fruity flavor, though not commonly practiced.
    • Boysenberry plants can act as environmental indicators since their growth can be sensitive to soil conditions, potentially signaling soil health.
    • These plants can provide habitat and food for wildlife, especially birds and pollinators, that are attracted to the fruit and flowers.
    • Boysenberries can be fermented to produce a unique, fruit-flavored vinegar which can be used in gourmet cooking.
    • In arts, boysenberry juice can be used to make natural watercolors or inks for painting and writing.
    • The boysenberry's aesthetic appeal when fruiting can be used in photographic subjects for botanical art and fruit-focused photography.
    • Interestingly, the flexible thornless canes can be woven into small crafts or garden structures, such as trellises or plant supports.
    • Boysenberry plants can be used for educational purposes, demonstrating plant growth, fruit development, and pollination in school gardens.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Boysenberry plant is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Boysenberry plant is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Patience - Growing boysenberries requires time and care, reflecting the virtue of patience in the one who cultivates them.
    • Resourcefulness - Boysenberry plants are a hybrid that were developed through crossbreeding, symbolizing innovation and resourcefulness.
    • Pleasure - The fruit’s rich flavor is associated with life’s sweet pleasures and indulgences.
    • Protection - Although the specified plant is thornless, boysenberries traditionally come with thorns, representing protection and defense.
    • Adaptability - The boysenberry thrives in a variety of conditions, symbolizing flexibility and the ability to thrive in different environments.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late Winter to Early Spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Boysenberries require consistent moisture, especially during fruit development. During the growing season, water these plants deeply once a week, providing about 1 to 2 inches of water each time. In general terms, that would be about 1.5 to 3 gallons of water for each plant per week, depending on soil type and weather conditions. Avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Ensure good drainage as boysenberries do not like standing water.

  • sunLight

    Boysenberries thrive in full sun conditions, requiring at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. The best spot for planting boysenberries is in a location where they can receive uninterrupted sunlight throughout the day, which is crucial for fruit production and the overall health of the plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The boysenberry plant grows best in a temperate climate with ideal temperatures ranging between 55°F and 85°F. It can survive in temperatures as low as 20°F but fruit production may be affected by frost. Plant boysenberries in an area where they are protected from extreme heat or cold for optimal growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune boysenberry plants annually to encourage healthy growth and fruit production. Remove any dead or damaged canes, and thin the plants to allow good air circulation. The best time for pruning is in late winter or early spring, just before new growth begins.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Boysenberries prefer well-draining soil with high organic matter. A mix of one-third peat, one-third sand, and one-third loamy garden soil amended with aged compost works best. The ideal pH level should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Boysenberry plants typically do not need to be repotted as they are perennial and grow well in the ground. If grown in containers, repotting every 2-3 years or when they outgrow their pot is sufficient.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Boysenberries thrive in moderate humidity levels. They tend do well in typical outdoor humidity in most temperate regions without needing special attention to humidity levels.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Grow in large containers with support; ensure ample light.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-drained soil; provide support for trailing canes.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Boysenberry plant begins its life cycle when a seed germinates in the soil or when it is propagated vegetatively through root cuttings or stem tip layering. As a perennial, the root system establishes during its first year while the shoots, known as primocanes, grow but do not produce fruit. In the second year, these primocanes become floricanes, developing lateral branches that will bear flowers and subsequently, fruit. After fruiting, the floricanes die back and are pruned to make way for new primocanes that emerge to repeat the cycle. Boysenberries typically bloom in early to mid-spring with fruit setting and ripening from late spring to early summer. Once harvested, the plant will continue this cycle annually, with proper care allowing for a productive life span of several years.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late Winter to Early Spring

    • The thornless Boysenberry, a bramble fruit like raspberries and blackberries, is commonly propagated through a method known as tip layering. Tip layering is ideally done in late summer or early fall. This is when a healthy, flexible cane is bent to the ground, and the tip is buried in the soil while still attached to the parent plant. The buried tip will naturally root in moist soil, and once it has established a good root system, typically by the following spring, it can be cut from the parent plant and transplanted elsewhere in the garden. Regular watering helps ensure the success of this technique, and rooting hormone is usually not necessary. This method of propagation is highly effective because it is simple and exploits the plant's natural inclination to root from the cane tips, ensuring a clone of the parent plant is produced.