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  • Writer's pictureSweet Pea Specialists

Boysenberry (Rubus ursinus × R. idaeus)

Boysenberries are a cross between the European raspberry, the blackberry and the loganberry by Napa farmer Rudolf Boysen during the 1920s. These luscious berries offer the dark color and intense sweetness of a blackberry with the tartness of a raspberry.

Boysenberries are high in vitamin C, folate, and manganese and contain a fair amount of fibre.

How to Grow Boysenberries

Plant canes in a full sun position in soil that is rich in compost. Keep plants well watered but not wet.

I grow mine on metal trellis, keeping the plant flat and fanned out. The trellis is around 1.8m in height. I ensure the plant does not get any higher than this. Growth above the height of the trellis is pruned.

How To Prune Boysenberries

Ensure you wear gloves and long sleeves as the canes have thorns. Prune at the start of winter. Remove any dead, woody or diseased canes. Then remove the canes that fruited during summer. These will be brown in colour. Next is to espalier the remaining canes. These will be red in colour. You can either weave them through the trellis or tie them. You want you plant to be open to let the light and air in. This will also make it easier to harvest the berries.

Link to purchase canes.

Boysenberry, Lemon and Almond Loaf


  • 185 g butter

  • 1 cup caster sugar

  • finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 large lemon (the firmer the orange, the easier it is to grate)

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (make up with orange juice if need be)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds

  • ~42 fresh or frozen boysenberries (can also use blackberries, raspberries or blueberries) - if frozen, do NOT thaw as they will bleed into the batter

  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar

  • icing sugar for dusting

  • whipped cream or greek yoghurt to serve


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, and grease and line a 23 x 12cm loaf tin with baking paper.

  • In a saucepan, gently heat the butter, sugar, citrus zest and juice until the butter is melted and sugar has dissolved. It should not boil. Remove from the heat to cool.

  • Whisk in the vanilla and eggs. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, and add the ground almonds. Whisk gently until smooth (try not to overmix).

  • Pour about half of the mixture into the tin and dot with half the berries, gently pushing them into the batter. Pour over the remaining batter, spreading it to the edges over the berries, then place the remaining berries on top (don’t push them in this time as the loaf will rise up around them). Sprinkle the berries on the surface with the extra tablespoon of caster sugar.

  • Bake for 50-60minutes or until a skewer inserted just comes out clean and the loaf begins to pull away from the sides. Cool in the tin.

  • To serve, dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream or greek yogurt.

Reference -

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