Rubus parviflorus Nutt.
Western Thimbleberry, Thimbleberry
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
USDA Symbol: RUPA
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, and compound 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.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , IA , ID , IL , MA , MI , MN , MT , NM , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , ON
Native Distribution: Ont. to n. MN & AK, s. to mts. of NM, AZ & CA
Native Habitat: Open, wooded hillsides; stream banks; canyons
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
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
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees
Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
Yellow-banded sphinx |
Learn more at BAMONA
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Rubus parviflorus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rubus parviflorus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rubus parviflorus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-03-21
Research By: TWC Staff