Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Rubus parviflorus Nutt.
Thimbleberry, Western thimble-berry
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Western thimble-berry is an erect, unarmed, shrub,
1 1/2-5 ft. tall with gray, flaking bark; strong, flexible stems; large, shiny, maple-like, deciduous
leaves; terminal clusters of white (sometimes pink-tinged) flowers; and red, raspberry-like fruit. Erect, unarmed shrub
with palmately lobed leaves and raspberrylike fruits.
The genus Rubus
, Latin name meaning “bramble,” includes cultivated raspberries and blackberries, as well as a host of wild species, including more than a dozen native
to western North America. Thimbleberry derives its name from the shape of its fruit. The species name parviflorus
means “small-flowered,” a curious choice for this shrub,
whose flowers are among the largest in the genus. The fruits are important seasonal food for numerous birds and mammals, including bears, and are a welcome, if not inspired, trailside snack. Wild Red Raspberry (R. idaeus
) has much smaller flowers, prickles on stem,
leaves with 3 or 5 leaflets, Black Raspberry (R. leucodermis
) has recurved thorns, small white flowers whose sepals
are longer than the petals, compound
leaves, and black fruits.
Image Gallery: 6 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , IL , IA , MA , MI , MN , MT , NV , NM , OR , SD , UT , WA , WI , WY Canada: AB
, ON Native Distribution:
Ont. to n. MN & AK, s. to mts. of NM, AZ & CA Native Habitat:
Open, wooded hillsides; stream banks; canyons USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
BenefitUse Wildlife: Valuable to songbirds, game birds, and large and small mammals.
Warning: Plant has thorns or prickles.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: