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Cherries vs. Cranberries: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 23, 2024
Cherries are sweet or tart stone fruits from the genus Prunus, while cranberries are tart, small red berries, typically grown in bogs.

Key Differences

Cherries are fleshy stone fruits, usually either sweet or tart in flavor, and are commonly used in desserts and beverages. Cranberries, on the other hand, are small, tart, red berries, known for their distinct bitter flavor and are often processed into juices and sauces.
Cherries grow on trees and are a part of the Prunus genus, which includes almonds and plums. Cranberries grow on low-lying vines in bogs and marshes and are part of the genus Vaccinium, which also includes blueberries.
The cherry season is relatively short, typically peaking in the summer months. Cranberries are harvested in the fall and are widely associated with autumn and winter holidays, particularly in North America.
Cherries are often consumed fresh when in season, and are also preserved, dried, or used in cooking. Cranberries are rarely eaten fresh due to their intense tartness and are more commonly consumed as juice, sauce, or dried.
Nutritionally, cherries are known for their high levels of antioxidants and melatonin, while cranberries are celebrated for their vitamin C content and urinary tract health benefits.

Comparison Chart

Botanical Family

Genus Prunus
Genus Vaccinium


Sweet or tart
Tart and bitter

Typical Use

Fresh consumption, desserts
Juices, sauces, dried

Growing Environment

Low-lying vines in bogs

Harvest Season


Cherries and Cranberries Definitions


Cherries are stone fruits, ranging from sweet to tart, often red or dark in color.
She picked fresh cherries from the orchard.


Cranberries grow in bogs and are harvested in the fall.
They visited a cranberry bog during harvest season.


Cherries are commonly used in desserts like pies and cakes.
He baked a cherry pie for the party.


Cranberries are small, tart berries, typically red and used in various culinary applications.
She added cranberries to the salad for a tart flavor.


Cherries can be eaten fresh, dried, or as a part of various dishes.
They enjoyed dried cherries as a snack.


Cranberries are known for their health benefits, especially for urinary tract health.
She drank cranberry juice for its health benefits.


Cherries are known for their health benefits, including high antioxidant content.
She made a smoothie with cherries for its health benefits.


Cranberries are a popular ingredient in autumn and winter recipes.
He made a cranberry walnut bread for the holiday season.


Cherries are harvested in the summer and are seasonal fruits.
The cherry season brings a variety of fresh cherries to the market.


Cranberries are often processed into juice, sauce, or dried.
Cranberry sauce is a staple at Thanksgiving dinners.


Any of various trees or shrubs of the genus Prunus of the rose family, especially the sweet cherry or the sour cherry, native chiefly to northern temperate regions and having pink or white flowers and small juicy drupes.


A mat-forming, evergreen shrub (Vaccinium macrocarpon) in the heath family, native to eastern North America and widely cultivated for its tart, red, edible berries.


The berries of this plant, used in sauces, jellies, relishes, and beverages.


Any of several other plants in the genus Vaccinium having red berries, especially V. oxycoccos.


Plural of cranberry


What are cherries?

Cherries are small, round stone fruits that can be sweet or tart.

Are cranberries eaten raw?

Cranberries are rarely eaten raw due to their tartness and are usually cooked or processed.

What are cranberries?

Cranberries are small, tart, red berries often used in juices and sauces.

What are the health benefits of cranberries?

Cranberries are known for their vitamin C content and urinary tract health benefits.

Can cherries be dried?

Yes, cherries can be dried and are often used as a snack or in cooking.

When are cherries in season?

Cherries are typically in season during the summer months.

How are cranberries typically used?

Cranberries are used in juices, sauces, and as dried fruit in various recipes.

Can you eat cherries raw?

Yes, cherries are commonly eaten raw, especially when ripe.

What are the health benefits of cherries?

Cherries are rich in antioxidants and may help improve sleep quality.

When are cranberries harvested?

Cranberries are harvested in the fall, particularly around September and October.

Can cherries be frozen?

Yes, cherries can be frozen for later use.

Are cherries a good source of vitamins?

Cherries are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants.

Are cranberries good for baking?

Yes, cranberries are popular in baking, especially in breads and desserts.

What is unique about cranberry cultivation?

Cranberry cultivation is unique due to its requirement for a bog or wetland environment.

Can cranberries be made into wine?

Yes, cranberries can be used to make cranberry wine.

Do cherries contain pits?

Yes, cherries have a single hard pit in the center.

What is the most common use for cranberries?

The most common use for cranberries is in cranberry sauce and juice.

How are cranberries grown?

Cranberries grow on vines in bogs and wetlands.

What dishes are cherries used in?

Cherries are used in pies, cakes, jams, and as fresh fruit.

Do cherries come in different varieties?

Yes, there are many varieties of cherries, including sweet and tart types.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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