Most raspberry varieties (Rubus idaeus) produce fruit on one-year old canes, known as floricanes. Everbearing raspberries, sometimes known as fall-bearing raspberries, however, produce fruit on both one-year-old canes and new canes. This growth form offers several advantages over traditional summer-bearing types. First, the plants produce fruit over a longer period from summer through late fall, depending on the variety. For gardeners in regions with cold winters and late spring frosts, everbearing raspberry varieties produce fruit more reliably, because if the older canes are killed or frostbitten, young canes will still produce fruit in the fall. When selecting an everbearing raspberry, look for those that are adapted to your area's growing conditions and climate.
"Jaclyn" (Rubus idaeus "Jaclyn") is an early-bearing variety developed by a breeding cooperative between Virginia, Maryland, Wisconsin and New Jersey. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3a to 8b, this plant grows 5 feet tall and produces large juicy fruit that ripen to purplish red. "Jaclyn" tolerates more wind and heavy rains than other varieties. It benefits from staking to support the heavy yields.
2. Joan J
Another early producer, "Joan J" (Rubus idaeus "Joan J") yields heavy crops of large, red berries from mid-summer to late fall. One major advantage of this variety is that the canes are almost thornless. "Joan J" thrives in USDA zones 3b to 8. The firm berries freeze better than most varieties, retaining most of their shape upon thawing.
3. Autumn Britten
Despite its name, "Autumn Britten" (Rubus idaeus "Autumn Britten") produces berries beginning in mid-summer through late fall. The berries are large, firm and sweet and yields are high. "Autumn Britten" grows in USDA zones 3a through 9, making it one of the most adaptable everbearing raspberry varieties.
4. Autumn Bliss
If you live in a hot climate, "Autumn Bliss" (Rubus ideaus "Autumn Bliss") is the variety to grow. Many summer-bearing varieties are hardy in USDA zones 3 through 7 only, making them unsuitable for warmer regions. "Autumn Bliss" grows in USDA zones 3a to 11. The canes grow 5 feet high and produce sweet, juicy fruit. This variety is slightly less productive than other cultivars, but adapts well to poor weather conditions.
An old favorite, "Caroline" (Rubus idaeus "Caroline") has a shorter harvest season than most, producing berries for about eight weeks in late summer. The berries are sweet and very soft, making them best for fresh eating or preserves. "Caroline" can be grown in USDA zones 4 through 9.
"Heritage" (Rubus idaeus "Heritage") has been around since your grandmother's time and continues to be valued because of its reliable yields and adaptability to poor weather. This heirloom variety grows in USDA zones 4 through 9 and produces berries from late summer to fall.
If you've never tried golden raspberries, consider giving "Anne" (Rubus idaeus "Anne") a try. This golden raspberry variety produces beautiful, almost translucent fruit that have a decidedly sweet flavor. "Anne" raspberries lack the tartness of red raspberries and are ideal for fresh eating, as well as preserves. Adaptable in USDA zones 4a to 12, this plant produces berries in late summer through fall.