Thimbleberries



Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) a species of Rubus in the family Rosaceae, native to western and northern North America. It can be found growing along roadsides, railroad tracks, and in forest clearing.

Thimbleberry is a dense shrub which spread by underground rhizomes, can grow up to 2.5 m tall and have canes of 3-15 mm in diameter. The plant has no thorns, unlike most members in the genus. The five-lobed leaves are palmate, 5-20 cm across, with soft and fuzzy texture. It bears five-petaled white flowers, 2-6 cm in diameter, and numerous pale yellow stamens. The berry is a tart composite fruit, 10-15 mm in diameter, consists of numerous drupelets around a central core. Thimbleberry ripens to a bright red in mid-to late summer. The berry can be carefully removed separately from the core when picked, leaving a hollow fruit which bears a resemblance to a thimble, of which it got its name.

Thimbleberries are larger, fatter, and softer than raspberries, and contain many small seeds. Due to the softness of the fruit, it does not pack or ship well, and thus is not cultivated commercially. Thimbleberries can be eaten raw, and wild forms can made an excellent jam.

Propagation is by seeds, stem cuttings and planting rhizome segments.

ThimbleberriesThimbleberries
Author: Jim Dexter (public domain)

ThimbleberriesThimbleberries
Author: Walter Siegmund (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)

ThimbleberriesThimbleberries
Author: Walter Siegmund (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Flowers of Thimbleberry plantFlowers of Thimbleberry plant
Author: Walter Siegmund (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

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