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In botany, the term berry refers to a fleshy fruit produced from a single flower containing one ovary. The ripe fruit has a juicy or at least fleshy pericarp. However, traditionally and colloquially the term is used to refer to small, sweet fruits e.g. soft fruits such as strawberries, raspberries or currants.






More than 2,000 different kinds of blackberry have been identified in Europe alone. The fruits are an integral part of our daily diet. Blackberries can be winter bare or evergreen shrubs and flower between May and August.




The raspberry belongs to the rose family. Unlike the blackberry, the raspberry can easily be picked from the shrub, which grows up to two metres in height. Harvest time ranges from June to September, depending on the type. The raspberry is widely spread in central and northern Europe and also grows at altitudes of up to 2,000 metres in the Alps.




The blueberry, which has many different regional names in Austria, belongs to the heather family. The blueberries available in Austrian supermarkets are not descendants of the cultivated European blueberry, but of the American blueberry. The blueberry grows best in semi-shaded areas in young deciduous and coniferous forests.




The strawberry belongs to the rose family. It has long been part of our daily diet, playing an important role as far back as the Stone Age. However, it was not until the 18th century that the strawberry as we know it today was cultivated. Currently, there are around 20 different kinds of strawberries.




The redcurrant belongs to the gooseberry family and goes by different names in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The German term “Johannisbeere” derives from Johannistag, the Christian feast day celebrating the birth of John the Baptist. It is around this day that the first varieties ripen.




The lingonberry belongs to the blueberry family and is widespread in Eurasia and North America. It has several different regional names in Austria and in English is also referred to as a cowberry as well as going by numerous regional names such as mountain cranberry. Five to six weeks after fertilization, the first white berries begin to ripen, later turning bright red. They can be picked from late August to early September. However, cultivated kinds may, under good conditions, ripen for a second time in September and October. Under favourable climatic conditions, ripe lingonberries can be picked as early as the end of June.