While it’s less common to find fruits that are always black in color, there are several fruits that turn black when they fully mature.
They might start with a color like green or red, but as they age they begin to develop darker skin, often a sign that they contain anthocyanins, a well-known antioxidant.
Curious whether any black fruits might exist?
In this article, we’ll go over 15 different fruits that are uniquely black in color.
1 – Blackberries
The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by many species in the genus Rubus in the family Rosaceae, and like raspberries, they’re quite abundant and easy to grow.
They’re a great source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. They’re particularly rich in ellagic acid, an antioxidant that acts as a scavenger, helping make potential cancer cells inactive. Some evidence suggests that ellagic acid may be capable of reducing the genetic damage caused by carcinogens such as tobacco smoke and air pollution.
Mexico is the leading producer of blackberries, with nearly the entire crop being produced for export into the entire off-season fresh markets of North America, though the United States is also one of the largest producers of blackberries, alongside countries like Spain and Portugal.
2 – Black Elderberries
Sambucus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae. The various species within that family are commonly referred to as elder or elderberry.
The black elderberry, also known as the Sambucus nigra, is the most common type of elderberry. The tree is native to Europe, but it’s also widely grown in other parts of the globe.
Historically, Indigenous people used elderberries to treat fever and rheumatism, whilst the Egyptians used them to improve their complexions and heal burns.
3 – Black Grape
Black grapes have been grown in Europe and Asia for the last 6000 years. The black grapes that we consume come in two varieties: one is grown in Western Asia near the Black sea, whereas the other is grown in the Americas, mostly for wine production.
The healthy benefits of black grapes have been studied extensively, with one of its most beneficial nutrients being polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants. You can also find a variety of vitamins and minerals.
4 – Jamun Fruit
Jamun, also known as black plum or Java plum, is an oblong, ovoid fruit. Unripe it looks green. As it matures, its color changes to pink, then to crimson red, and finally to black color. Jamun is a fruit of the flowering tree called Syzygium Cumini which bears fruit around May and June.
It is native to the Indian Subcontinent, and adjoining regions of Southeast Asia such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and the Andaman Islands. However, it was also introduced in other regions of the world such as Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and even the state of Florida, but they’re often deemed invasive species.
Curiously, Jamun fruit is sometimes mistranslated as blackberry, a completely different fruit.
5 – Blackcurrant
The blackcurrant, also known as black currant or cassis, is native to temperate parts of central and northern Europe and northern Asia, where it prefers damp fertile soils.
Raw blackcurrant, like most fruits, is particularly rich in Vitamin C and polyphenols, so it’s quite healthy. It’s not often eaten raw though as it’s mostly used to make jams, preserves, and syrups.
It’s resistant to cold, but cold weather at the flowering time during the spring may reduce the size of the crop, which can be harvested by hand or machine.
Breeding (which is changing the traits of the plant) is common in Scotland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, and New Zealand to produce fruit with superior edible qualities.
6 – Black Diamond Apple
The black diamond apple is an extremely rare breed of apples from the family of Huaniu apples that is cultivated in the Tibetan region of Nyingchi.
The reason it has such a unique, dark color is due to the region’s high altitude of 3,500 meters. Temperatures at such high altitudes fluctuate tremendously between day and night, with the apples being exposed to a lot of ultraviolet light, which leads to their dark skin.
They’re also so rare because it takes up to eight years for the apples to reach maturity, which makes farmers reluctant to even cultivate them.
7 – Black Mission Fig
The Mission fig, also known as the Black Mission fig, is a popular variety of edible figs. As it matures, its color changes to red, then to brown, and finally to black color.
A ripe black fig will often have cracks, a sign that it has reached maturity. Its interior will have a strawberry rich color, whilst also harboring a very sweet taste.
The reason it’s called a Mission fig is that it was introduced to the United States in 1768 by Franciscan missionaries who first planted in San Diego, California. Alongside the Sari Lop fig, it is one of the highest quality figs in the United States.
8 – Black Hawthorn Berry
Hawthorn berries are tiny fruits that grow on trees and shrubs of the Crataegus genus, which includes hundreds of species in the family Rosaceae.
This type of fruit is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America.
Edible hawthorn berries are usually black, meaning they’re finally ripe and tasty, with a flavor that is reminiscent of a cross between a sweet apple and a salal berry.
9 – Black Hungarian Peppers
The Black Hungarian pepper is a unique fruit that originated in the Kiskenfelegyhaza in modern-day Hungary, resembling a black-colored jalapeño with thicker walls. They grow in a conical shape, up to three inches long, with a slight curve near the tip.
They are mildly hot with between 5,000 and 10,000 Scoville heat units and have a delicious taste. When young, they age from green to a slightly shiny deep purple to black hue, which is when they fully mature.
The more mature the pepper, the more heat it will contain, though still mild and cuisine-friendly.
10 – Black Olives
Black olives are not special olives. They’re simple olives that have been allowed to fully ripen on the tree before harvesting. Generally, unripe olives are green, whereas fully mature olives are black.
With that being said, you can find a variety of black olives, including Italian olives such as the Liguria and Ponentine, but you also have delicious greek black olives like the Kalamata that is harvested fully ripe.
I love the Portuguese black olives!
11 – Black Raisins
Black raisins are essentially dried black grapes. which have a very sugary and juicy taste and can be stored, preserved, and used for a longer time.
They are high in antioxidants and also contain essential phytochemicals, which are more concentrated due to the drying process they’re put through. The same goes for their sugar content.
Raisins, in general, have originated in the Middle East before making their way to Europe, where they were popular among Greeks and Romans.
12 – Black Cherry
Prunus serotina, also commonly called black cherry, wild black cherry, rum cherry, or mountain black cherry, is a deciduous tree or shrub of the genus Prunus.
Black cherry trees are related to chokecherry, but they’re significantly taller and the cherry fruit they produce is much sweeter. The riper the fruit, the darker it will be, and the more sugar it will contain.
Black cherries turn from red to dark purple before they become black.
13 – Black Mangosteen
The mangosteen fruit is native to Indonesia, though it can also be found in a few other South Asian countries. It is the size and shape of a tangerine, but it has a thick, dark rind and creamy flesh.
Like most fruits, mangosteen is rich in Vitamin C and several other nutrients, including antioxidants. Based on its nutrient content, mangosteen appears to have strong anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-microbial, and even anti-malarial properties.
Mangosteen juice is one of the most popular drinks in South Asian countries in the summer season, though it is also available in a supplement form.
14 – Black Mulberry
Black mulberry, also known as Morus nigra, is a species of flowering plant that is native to southwestern Asia and the Iberian Peninsula, where it has been cultivated for ages.
The fruits from this tree are almost without exception black, though it will also depend on how ripe they are; the darker they are, the more mature they are.
According to botanical experts, the black mulberry is considered to be the highest quality mulberry fruit.
15 – Jabuticaba
The jabuticaba is a fruit native to Brazil. It can be found in the states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná, São Paulo, Espírito Santo, Goiás, among others.
The fruit can also be found in certain regions of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
The jabuticaba has a round shape and a dark-purple or black color. It has white juicy flesh with very few seeds and a sweet flavor that most people appreciate. You can come across jabuticaba from August to September and January to February. The harvest, although short-lived, is quite abundant.
Whilst there are between 12 and 15 species of jabuticaba, the most common is the Sabará jabuticaba, which is also black when ripe.