The Tayberry was originally bred at the Scottish Crop Research Institute which is located just outside of Dundee.The following information has been kindly provided by them.

The fruit breeding group at SCRI released `Tayberry' in 1979. It was bred by Derek Jennings, the Rubus breeder at the time, and his interest in the various taxonomic sections of Rubus led him to experiment with hybrid berry production. From a tetraploid raspberry breeding line crossed with the blackberry variety 'Aurora', a high quality octoploid type from Oregon, he selected the 'Tayberry', a hybrid between these two parents but with its own unique traits, notably an aromatic quality and unique flavour. 'Tayberry' was a big commercial success in both the UK and North America, particularly with home garden and self-pick growers. Even now, almost thirty years after its release, it remains one of the most readily identifiable SCRI products for the general public in the UK. From a cross between 'Tayberry' and one of its sister seedling, a similar hybrid named 'Tummelberry' was released in 1983, but it never reached the popularity of 'Tayberry'. An improved spine-free 'Tayberry' was discovered by Derek in 1996 in a Buckinghamshire allotment, and this was released under the name 'Buckingham Tayberry'.

`Tayberry' is similar to blackberries in that it picks with the plug in, rather than with the plug removed as in raspberry. It should be picked when the fruit is dark burgundy in colour. The berries are long and conical, with a high drupelet number, and the fruit ripens quite early compared to blackberries. The berries are presented on short, strong laterals, making it easy to pick. The relatively short shelf-life has meant that these days `Tayberry' is generally found in home gardens or on self-pick farms rather than large-scale commercial raspberry farms. There are quite a few products that use `Tayberry' fruit, such as jams, wines/beers, etc.

The naming of the fruits bred at SCRI generally follows a convention where the raspberries have the prefix `Glen' (as in `Glen Ample'), the blackcurrants `Ben' (as in `Ben Lomond') and the blackberries `Loch' (as in `Loch Tay'). `Tayberry' was named to reflect both its `place of birth' and the novel character of the fruit.

Derek Jennings, the breeder of `Tayberry', retired from SCRI in the late 1980s, but he is still actively breeding fruit in Kent. He is regarded as one of the key figures in berry fruit breeding of recent times.

For a more detailed account of breeding activities at SCRI there is a web portal ( that contains sections covering their work. More detail can also be found in Derek Jenning's book entitled `Raspberries and Blackberries: Their Breeding, Diseases and Growth' (pub. Academic Press, 1988).