Apart from being juicy, tasty, and fleshy, berries are one of the most colorful types of fruits. They come in different colors including green, blue, yellow, black, orange, purple, and white. But did you know the color of a berry is also an indication of its likelihood to be poisonous?
If you come across a yellow or white berry, there is a 9 in 10 chance that it is poisonous. Reddish berries have a 50% probability of being toxic. But then, darker-colored berries like blue-black, black, and purple berries have the lowest likelihood of toxicity.
Now, we do not mean that all brightly colored berries are poisonous. What we mean is if you cannot identify a brightly colored berry, you had better avoid it because there’s a good chance it might be toxic.
In this article, we discuss 15 types of purple berries. When done reading, you should know more about some purple berries you can include in your diet.
1. Açai Berries
Açai berries are non-aggregated berries that grow in branching clusters on the açai palm tree. They are small, round, dark-purple, and look somewhat like grapes.
As expected of colorful berries, açai berries are chock-full of antioxidants. This makes them a healthy choice as they can help prevent various chronic illnesses. Açai berries promote heart health, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and improve the skin’s healing properties.
Açai berries taste like intensely flavored blackberries with a touch of cocoa. You can consume them raw or blend them into fresh fruit juices.
2. Black Currants
Black currants are small-sized berries that grow in clusters on the stems of the black currant plant. They have a dark purple color, and unsurprisingly, they are rich in antioxidants.
When ripe, black currants are tart and sweet – although not as tart as red currants. You can eat them raw or use them to make cakes, jams, juice, and ice cream.
While their name implies otherwise, blackberries are technically not berries. They are also not always black. More accurately, blackberries are aggregate fruits with a dark purple color.
As with other dark purple berries we have mentioned, blackberries contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have antioxidant activity, and they can help improve heart health. They can also help prevent various chronic diseases.
Blackberries are pretty tasty when ripe as they become soft, juicy, and sweet. Contrarily, when unripe, they are bitter.
When you eat blackberries, avoid the seeds as they contain a toxic substance. In minimal amounts, the toxin is usually harmless. But consume too much of it, and there could be a problem.
Elderberries are small-sized, non-aggregated, dark purple berries. They have a long history of being used as an herbal remedy. Elderberries are typically added to syrups and teas. But besides medicinal purposes, you may dip them in batter and fry them to make fritters.
Elderberries are highly nutritious. They contain anthocyanins, vitamin A, vitamin C, and other nutrients. Unsurprisingly, they can help prevent the common cold, improve heart health, and reduce cholesterol levels.
Due to their intense tartness, you should not eat raw elderberries. Using them in any of the ways we described is better.
Gooseberries typically grow in clusters on small bushes of different species. While they are usually green, they may also be purple, red, white, or yellow, depending on the variety.
Like all the others so far, gooseberries are rich in antioxidants. They also pack a lot of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Gooseberries can be very sour – perhaps one of the sourest berries. But then, they can also be sweet. Even the sour ones are not unsavory, so you can eat them too.
You can eat gooseberries fresh or dried. You may also use them to make jam, cakes, pies, wines, and syrups.
Huckleberries are small-sized, round berries often mistaken for blackberries. Interestingly, even though people mix up these berry types, they share no relationship.
Huckleberries are possibly related to blueberries. In fact, they just might be the ancestors of blueberries or wild blueberries. However, they have bigger seeds than blueberries.
Huckleberries are one of the sweetest types of berries. However, their taste also depends on their color. So, some may not be as sweet as you might expect.
Huckleberries are rich in antioxidants and fiber. So, of course, they are a healthy addition to your diet. You can use them in pancakes, muffins, and other baked goods. You may also turn them into jam or syrup.
Since they are wild berries, people rarely ever cultivate huckleberries. So, you may not readily find them in markets.
7. Jamun Berries
Technically, Jamun berries are stone fruits. However, because their form is similar to the form of a berry, people also consider them to be berries.
Jamun berries go by many other names, including Black Plum, Jambul, Java Plum, and Indian Blackberry. They have an oval shape – similar to olives – and are sweet, sour, and juicy.
Jamun berries have a deep purple color. However, their inner flesh is pinkish, light red, or whitish. They come from tall tropical evergreens commonly found in India and southern Asia.
8. Luma Berries
Luma berries come from Luma trees and shrubs, a type of slow-growing evergreen native to Chile and Argentina.
Luma berries share some relationship with myrtle berries. In fact, they also go by Chilean myrtle. Luma berries typically ripen in fall. They are small-sized, round, and have a purplish-black color.
Luma berries have a sweet flavor. You can eat them raw or cooked. Besides their culinary purposes, luma berries also have medicinal uses.
9. Maqui Berries
Maqui berries, also known as Chilean wineberry, come from the maqui plant. They are small-sized, purplish-black berries that taste like blackberries.
Thanks to their high anthocyanin and antioxidant activity, maqui berries benefit the human body in various ways. They help with cholesterol and blood glucose levels. They also reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
You can eat maqui berries raw. Alternatively, you may add them to your smoothies, dessert, yogurt, and oatmeal. You may also make maqui berries into a juice.
Mulberries grow on mulberry trees, a tree native to the United States. They grow wild and do best in temperate regions.
Mulberries look like elongated blackberries. They come in 3 main species that can be purple, white, red, or black. When ripe, mulberries are sweet and juicy with some hint of tartness.
Mulberries typically ripen in June. You can use them to make wines, juices, jellies, teas, desserts, and similar foods.
Olallieberries look somewhat like black raspberries or plump blackberries. They even share some genetic material with blackberries, so the resemblance is unsurprising.
Olallieberries have a dark purple color with a glossy sheen. Like most edible berries, they are low in fat and calories but chock-full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Olallieberries are juicy, sweet, and sour. You can use them to make jams, ice creams, jellies, tarts, pies, and similar foods.
Riberries also go by Lilly Pilly. They grow from the riberry plant, a coastal rainforest tree native to Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean region.
Riberries have a pear-like shape and are about the size of a cherry. They are typically red or pink. But sometimes, they can be purple or reddish-brown.
Riberries are distinct from many other berries in texture and taste.
Riberries have a crisp texture and a refreshing, spicy, tart flavor with a hint of cinnamon and cloves. But this may vary, depending on the berry you pick.
13. Salal Berries
Salal berries come from the salal—a leathery-leaf shrub that grows around 5 feet tall. They are small-sized, purple-black, or blue-black, and they look like blueberries.
Besides looking like blueberries, salal berries taste somewhat like blueberries. But even at that, their tastes are so unique you are unlikely to mix them up.
While ripening, salal berries reach a stage where they open a bit. For the best experience, get the berries before they reach this stage.
Serviceberries come from the shadbush, a genus of over 20 plant species. You can find them all over the United States, even though they do best in the northern regions.
One noteworthy thing about serviceberries is the production rate of the plants. One plant gives a high yield; you won’t even have to move from plant to plant to get a lot of berries. On average, you can get up to 5 gallons of berries from one tree.
When ripe, serviceberries are dark purple, juicy, sweet, and soft. You may eat them raw. But if you want, you can also them into tarts, jams, jellies, pies, and similar food items.
Serviceberries crossbreed and hybridize with ease. So, sometimes identifying them is not straightforward.
15. Sherbet Berries
Sherbet berries come from the sherbet berry tree, a tree native to Southern Asia. You may also call them Falsa or Phalsa like they do in their native region.
Sherbet berries are small-sized and slightly tart. Their taste may also come with a hint of sherbet. So, now you know where the name came from.
When ripe, sherbet berries turn dark purple. Of course, they have a lot of antioxidants and vitamin C within them. So, they do a lot of good for the body.
Mr A G Tan
Monday 20th of February 2023
Looking for purple and maqui berries