Golden or yellow raspberries are a color variation of the common American red raspberry, Rubus strigosus. Although there is a golden raspberry native to the Himalayan mountains, the golden raspberries you can buy here in the United States likely resulted from a natural mutation that turns off the plant’s ability to produce dark colored pigments, also known as anthocyanins. These “albino” berries appear yellow or golden because they lack the pigments needed to turn them red, blue or purple.
Despite a lack of anthocyanins, these golden berries are full of vitamins B and C, dietary fiber, folic acid, iron, copper, magnesium and antioxidants. Plus, they have lots of good-for-you phenolic compounds, including the anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting ellagic acid. Golden raspberries have a sweet, mild taste and can be used in any recipe calling for raspberries. They have soft fruit and are typically found at local markets.
Plant breeders have taken this delicious small fruit and developed multiple golden-yellow cultivars of raspberry, some with pale white-yellow fruit, some with orange hues and others that ripen into a pink sunset color.
If you are interested in growing your own golden raspberries, recommended cultivars for West Virginia include Anne, a muted, lemony-yellow colored raspberry; Double Gold, a pinkish-yellow colored berry; and Fall Gold, which has an orange-champagne colored berry. These three cultivars are all primocane bearing, meaning they will produce fruit on the ends of first-year canes in the late summer or fall.
By Candace DeLong, WVU Extension Agent – Hampshire County