The loganberry is a hybrid that is crossed between a raspberry and a blackberry. It was accidentally created by James Harvey Logan in 1883, in Santa Cruz, California. Logan was actually unsatisfied with the existing blackberry varieties and tried to cross 2 blackberry varieties to create a more superior blackberry cultivar. The only problem was that he actually planted these blackberries next to an old red raspberry variety, which all flowered and fruited together.
These early Loganberry hybrids were thought to be Texas Early or Aughinburgh blackberries, and Red Antwerp raspberries that were planted in Logan’s backyard that year. As he gathered and planted the seeds, there were 50 seedlings which produced plants that were similar to the Aughinburgh, but were bigger and more vigorous. One of these crosses ended up being what we now call the Loganberry, and the remaining 49 seedlings that grew include the Mammoth Blackberry which is the longest fruit ever grown. In 1897, the original loganberry was introduced to Europe and a prickle-free mutation called the American Thornless was developed in 1933.
Loganberries are productive and have adapted well, however its flavor was not popular. They are more frost and disease resistant than most berries, but they are not popular with commercial growers as the plants are thorny and berries are hidden by the leaves. Therefore, loganberries are normally kept in domestic gardens. Loganberries have also been used to create more hybrids such as for Tayberry (loganberry x raspberry), Youngberry (Phenomenal berry x Austin Mayes dewberry), Boysenberry (loganberry x raspberry x blackberry), and more.
The fruit is harvested in July to September in the northern hemisphere, and around November to January in the southern hemisphere. Plants can fruit for 15 years and are self-propagating. Each bush produces about 7 to 8 kg per bush, and each bush has 10 canes. You can harvest the loganberry when they turn deep purple in color.
Loganberries can be eaten fresh. They can also be an ingredient in many recipes, such as sherry trifle, pies, jams, crumbles, wines, and fruit syrups. Loganberry juice can also be found in Western New York in the USA and Southern Ontario in Canada. This is because the loganberry was primarily cultivated in the west coast of the USA, so growers were actually unaware of any niche markets that may exist in the east coast. Apparently in the 1800’s, an entrepreneur developed this drink at Crystal Beach, which was an amusement park and a summer time resort in Southern Ontario. This drink was served at the theme park until it was closed. This drink became so popular that it became a commercialized drink called Aunt Rosie’s, which is actually now distributed by Pepsi-Cola in Buffalo, New York state, for local consumption.
The Mighty Taco fast food restaurant in Western New York state also offers loganberry juice that is manufactured in Niagara Falls, New York state. The juice has even made its way to Indiana, where it is available at Avers Pizza in Bloomington.