Raspberries are the hardiest of cane berries and are a well-known type of bramble berry. They are closely related to the blackberries and various varieties of blackberries, known as dewberries. The most common raspberry variety, and the easiest to identify, is the red raspberry. Identify other varieties such as red, yellow, purple and black varieties and distinguish them from blackberry varieties by examining the berries themselves.
Consider the location. Raspberries are hardy to cold weather, require cold winters and prefer a cool, long spring. Some varieties of raspberries will grow in southern states; however, they do not like the high summer heat and are more likely to be found in the northern states and Pacific Coast. Some home gardeners are able to successfully grow raspberries in climates with high heat but raspberries are rarely found in the wild.
Examine the leaves and stems. Raspberry leaves are split into three to five leaflets that spread apart, the largest one being in the centre. The edges of the leaves are finely serrated, and the bottom centre spine has small hairlike thorns. The stems, or canes, of the raspberry grow upright, partially vertical or trail in many different directions depending on the specific variety. The canes are covered with thorns, smaller and more flexible than that of blackberries and other thorny shrubs.
Identify and pick the berries. A whole raspberry is made up of several small berries gathered together to form the raspberry. Raspberries grow in red, yellow, purple and black varieties with red raspberry varieties being the most common. Unlike blackberries, dewberries and other types of bramble berries, picked ripe raspberries do not contain the core. Pick a ripe berry and if the core remains it is not a raspberry. Raspberries are the only bramble berry type that pulls free of the core; the centre will remain hollow.