Which Raspberries Are Thornless? (11 Varieties To Try)


Raspberries are delicious, but it can be painful to harvest the fruit from plants with big thorns!  Luckily, there are some raspberry varieties that are thornless or have only a few thorns.

So, which raspberries are thornless?  Thornless raspberry varieties include: Canby, Glencoe, Itsaul, Joan J, Mammoth Red, and Raspberry Shortcake.  The varieties Cascade Delight, Encore, Latham, Nova, and Polka are nearly thornless, with very few and small thorns compared to other raspberry plants.

Of course, animals also have an easier time getting fruit from thornless raspberry plants.  You may find that animals are more likely to go after thornless raspberry plants in your yard.

In this article, we’ll talk about some thornless raspberry varieties that you can plant.

Let’s get started.

Which Raspberries Are Thornless?

Although most raspberry plants do have sharp thorns, there are a few varieties that are not so thorny.

raspberry thorn spine
Raspberry thorns can be pretty nasty on some varieties, and they can scratch you up a bit.

Raspberries can be red, purple, black, or even yellowish-white. Some of these varieties will have canes with very few thorns, or none at all.

yellow raspberry plant
Raspberry plants may have red, purple, black, or even yellow fruit.

There are two types of raspberry plants that are more manageable in terms of their thorns:

  • Thornless – these raspberry plants have no thorns.
  • Nearly Thornless – these plants have very few thorns, or the thorns are small compared to other raspbery varieties.
red raspberreis on cane plant
Most raspberry plants have thorns, but there are some thornless ones that are easier to harvest from.

Thornless raspberry varieties include:

  • Canby
  • Glencoe
  • Itsaul
  • Joan J
  • Mammoth Red
  • Raspberry Shortcake

Nearly thornless raspberry varieties include:

  • Cascade Delight
  • Encore
  • Latham
  • Nova
  • Polka

Below, you can find descriptions of various types of thornless or nearly thornless raspberries.

Canby

This thornless raspberry variety is cold hardy and able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.  A Canby raspberry plant grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating with white or pink flowers.  They bloom in early to mid-spring.

Canby raspberry plants bear fruit in the summer, and again in the fall (everbearing).  Each plant will yield 1 to 2 quarts of fruit.  The berries are large, red, and firm.

You can learn more about Canby Raspberries on garden.org.

You can buy Canby Raspberry plants from Gurney’s.

Cascade Delight

This nearly thornless raspberry variety is cold hardy and able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.  A Cascade Delight raspberry plant grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating with white flowers.  They bloom in spring.

Cascade Delight raspberry plants bear fruit in midsummer (summer bearing).  The berries are large, red, and firm.

You can learn more about Cascade Delight Raspberries from Scenic Hill Farm Nursery.

You can buy Cascade Delight Raspberry plants from Rain Tree Nursery.

Encore

This nearly thornless raspberry variety is able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.  An Encore raspberry plant grows 4 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating and its pink flowers bloom in spring.

Encore raspberry plants bear fruit in the summer (summer bearing).  The berries are large and red.

You can learn more about Encore Raspberries from Oakland Nurseries.

You can buy Encore Raspberry plants from Gurney’s.

Glencoe

This thornless raspberry variety is able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.  A Glencoe raspberry plant grows 2 to 5 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating and its flowers bloom in early to late fall. 

Glencoe raspberry plants bear fruit in the summer (summer bearing).  It is a cross of black raspberry and red raspberry, which means the berries are medium sized and purple.

You can learn more about Glencoe Raspberries from Burpee.

You can buy Glencoe Raspberry plants from Berries Unlimited.

Itsaul

This thornless raspberry variety is able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6 to 10.  An Itsaul raspberry plant grows 3 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating and its flowers bloom from spring to autumn.

Itsaul raspberry plants bear fruit in the summer (summer bearing).  The berries are medium sized and red.

You can learn more about Itsaul Raspberries on Just Fruits and Exotics.

You can buy Itsaul Raspberry plants from Forest Farm.

Joan J

This thornless raspberry variety is cold hardy and able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.  A Joan J raspberry plant grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating with white flowers that bloom in spring.

Joan J raspberry plants bear fruit in the summer, and again in the fall (everbearing).  The berries are large, red, and firm.

You can learn more about Joan J Raspberries from Stark Brothers.

You can buy Joan J Raspberry plants from White Flower Farm.

Latham

This nearly thornless raspberry variety is cold hardy and able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 to 8.  A Latham raspberry plant grows 4 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating with white flowers.  They bloom in early to midsummer.

Latham raspberry plants bear fruit in midsummer (summer bearing).  The berries are large, red, and firm.

You can learn more about Latham Raspberries on gardenia.net.

You can buy Latham Raspberry plants from Gurney’s.

Mammoth Red

This thornless raspberry variety is cold hardy and able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.  A Mammoth Red raspberry plant grows 6 to 8 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating with white flowers.  They bloom in late spring to early summer.

Mammoth Red raspberry plants bear fruit in the summer, from mid-June to early July (summer bearing).  The berries are large and red, and a plant will yield 1 to 2 quarts.

You can learn more about Mammoth Red raspberries on garden.org.

You can buy Mammoth Red raspberry plants from Gurney’s.

Nova

This nearly thornless raspberry variety has very few thorns compared to most raspberry plants.

Nova is cold hardy and able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 to 8.  A Nova raspberry plant grows 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating with white flowers.  They bloom in early to mid-spring.

Nova raspberry plants bear fruit in early summer (summer bearing).  The berries are medium-sized and red.

You can learn more about Nova Raspberries on gardenia.net.

You can buy Nova Raspberry plants from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Polka

This nearly thornless raspberry variety is cold hardy and able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.  A Polka raspberry plant grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating with white or pink flowers.  They bloom in mid-spring.

Polka raspberry plants bear fruit in late summer or early fall, and again later in the fall (everbearing).  The berries are large, red, and firm.

You can learn more about Polka Raspberries on Evergreen Nursery.

You can buy Polka Raspberry plants from Raintree Nursery.

Raspberry Shortcake

This thornless raspberry variety is cold hardy and able to grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.  A Raspberry Shortcake raspberry plant is a dwarf variety, and it will grow 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide.

The plant is self-pollinating with white flowers.  They bloom in spring.

Raspberry Shortcake raspberry plants bear fruit in midsummer (summer bearing).  The berries are medium-sized and red.

You can learn more about Raspberry Shortcake raspberry plants on garden.org.

You can buy Raspberry Shortcake raspberry plants from Stark Brothers.

Are Autumn Bliss Raspberries Thornless?

Autumn Bliss raspberries have thorns, so they are not thornless.

You can buy Autumn Bliss raspberry plants from Gurney’s.

Are Boyne Raspberries Thornless?

Boyne raspberries have thorns, so they are not thornless.

You can buy Boyne raspberry plants from Gurney’s.

Are Brandywine Raspberries Thornless?

Brandywine raspberries have thorns, so they are not thornless.

You can buy Brandywine raspberry plants from the Nursery at TyTy.

Are Caroline Raspberries Thornless?

Caroline raspberries have thorns, so they are not thornless.

You can buy Caroline raspberry plants from Gurney’s.

Are Fall Gold Raspberries Thornless?

Fall Gold raspberries have thorns, so they are not thornless.

You can buy Fall Gold raspberry plants from Monrovia.

Are Heritage Raspberries Thornless?

Heritage raspberries have thorns, so they are not thornless.

You can buy Heritage raspberry plants from Gurney’s.

Are Meeker Raspberries Thornless?

Meeker raspberries have thorns, so they are not thornless.

You can buy Meeker raspberry plants from Gurney’s.

black raspberry plant
Black raspberry plants tend to be very thorny.

Conclusion

Now you have a good list of thornless (or nearly thornless) raspberry varieties you can try growing.

I hope you found this article helpful.  If so, please share it with someone who can use the information.

If you want to read some of my most popular posts, check out the “Best of GreenUpSide” page here.  Enjoy!

~Jonathon

jonathon.david.madore

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

Recent Posts