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Western Thimbleberry
Rubus parviflorus
  
About Western Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) 18 Nurseries Carry This Plant Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry) is a species in the Rosaceae (Rose) family native to western and northern North America, from Alaska east to Ontario and Michigan and south to northern Mexico. It is widespread in California. It grows from sea level in the north, up to 2,500 meter altitude in the south of the range. It is a dense shrub up to 2.5 meter tall with canes 3-15 millimeter diameter, often growing in large clumps which spread through the plant's underground rhizome. Rubus is the genus of raspberries and blackberries, but unlike most other members of the genus, it has no thorns. The leaves are palmate, 5-20 centimeter across, with five lobes; they are soft and fuzzy in texture. The flowers are 2-6 centimeter diameter, with five white petals and numerous pale yellow stamens. It produces a tart edible composite fruit 10-15 millimeter diameter, which ripen to a bright red in mid to late summer. Like other raspberries it is not a true berry, but instead an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a central core; the drupelets may be carefully removed separately from the core when picked, leaving a hollow fruit which bears a resemblance to a thimble, perhaps giving the plant its name; it is also said that it may get its name from the Thimble Islands in Connecticut, though it is rarely seen there.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb, Shrub

Size
Size
4 - 8.2 ft tall

Form
Form
Upright, Spreading

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Moderate, Fast

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous

Fragrance
Fragrance
Fragrant - Pleasant

Flower Color
Flower Color
White, Yellow

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring

Wildlife Supported
 
Various birds are attracted to the fruits

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade

Moisture
Moisture
Moderate - High

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to -10° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast

Soil Description
Soil Description
Prefers moist, fertile soil with good drainage. Soil PH: 5.0 - 7.0

Common uses
Common uses
Hedges, Bird Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Use with trees from its native range, such as Fir (Abies sp.), Pine (Pinus sp.), and Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Maintenance
Maintenance
Prune in winter to control height and/or spread

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: 3 mos. stratification may give satisfactory germination. Soaking in either 1% sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) 7 days or concentrated H2S04 20-60 mins., then 3 mos. warm and 3 mos. cold stratification may improve germination (USDA Forest Service 1974). Easily propagated from stem cuttings.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
1, 2, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Shaded, moist areas on the edge of woodland or forest, often in mountains

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 5.6" - 155.0", Summer Precipitation: 0.18" - 5.88", Coldest Month: 23.5" - 52.0", Hottest Month: 42.5" - 77.6", Humidity: 0.01" - 29.33", Elevation: -21" - 11201"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Rubus parviflorus var. velutinus


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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