Jewell is a shiny black raspberry that is a delight to pick. Jewell’s name is spot on; it is a gem to look at and its pleasant sweet flavor is exceptional. There is a robust, distinct flavor to Jewell that lingers on the taste buds long after being eaten. The highly disease resistant plant is a recent introduction from the New York Fruit Testing Station. The vigorous plants are early ripening, and in our experience, they are a big improvement over the popular ‘Bristol.’ Black raspberries have been called the “king of berries” because of their superior health benefits. They are very high in antioxidants, which are known to prevent heart disease, cancer, stroke, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. The berries also contain more anthocyanins than any other food. Anthocyanins give the berries their dark color in the skin. In addition to having anti-inflammatory properties, anthocyanins have been linked to cardiovascular health, vision improvement, memory retention improvement, and reducing hypertension. Black raspberries are also rich in ellagic acid, a powerful anti-carcinogen compound that is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial. After very promising trials on rats and mice, Ohio State University has begun human clinical trails to test the black raspberries effects on esophageal and colon cancers. Jewell’s berries are large and firm; many of the berries are the size of a nickel or larger. The berries retain their firmness several days after refrigeration, and freeze easily as a whole berry if left unwashed. It is easy to pick Jewell’s berries that grow on upright canes. The plants are very manageable for a garden, pruning them 4 to 5 feet tall. A mature plant would yield 8 to 10 pounds for home gardeners.
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