Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Thimbleberry - Rubus parviflorus

Family: Rosaceaea- Rose [E-flora]


Other Uses

Medicinal Uses



General Unarmed erect shrub.[HNW] Usually at least 1m tall.[PWOBC] 1-3m tall [HNW]
Lifecycle Perennial. [WildPNW] Growing at a medium rate. pollinated by Insects.[PFAF]
Flowers clusters of 2-9. [WildPNW] petals white,[HNM][PWOBC][WildPNW] rarely pinkish. 1-3cm long[HNW] Textured like crumpled paper.[WildPNW] hermaphrodite. [PFAF]
Fruits Red, slightly hairy.[WildPNW] scarlet, puberulent. [HNW]
Leaves "Alternate, deciduous, long-stalked, mapleleaf-shaped...". [IFBC-E-flora] palmately lobed. [HNW][PWOBC] Most leaf blades at least 8 cm wide; [PWOBC] "3-5 [HNW][WildPNW] finely toothed lobes pointed at tips".[WildPNW]
Stem without prickles [PWOBC][WildPNW] Bark brown and shredding.[WildPNW]
Habitat moist shady woods, below alpine. [WildPNW] Woodlands, canyons and open areas[62].[PFAF] Common along streams and in open woods.[HNW]
Range Throughout southern B.C. south of 56 degrees N.[IFBC-E-flora] Western N. America - Alaska to Ontario and California. Occasionally naturalized in Britain[17].[PFAF] Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland, south to northern California.[WildPNW]
Ecological Indicator
A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to subalpine, North American deciduous shrub distributed equally in the Pacific, Cordilleran, and Central regions. Occurs on nitrogen-rich soils within boreal, temperate, and mesothermal climates; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and latitude and increases with increasing continentality. Very common in open-canopy forests and early-seral com­munities on cutover and/ or burnt sites where it may hinder natural regeneration and growth of shade-intolerant conifers. Usually associated with Alnus rubra, Athyrium filix-femina, Epilobium angustifolium, Oplopanax horridus, Rubus spectabilis, Sambucus racemosa, Streptopus roseus, and Tiarella unifoliata. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms. [1.2]




Per g dry weight (Fruit) [Norton KaigHaida]
Calories Protein g Carbohydrate g Ash g Lipid g Calcium mg Iron mg Magnesium mg Zinc mg Ascorbic acid mg
3.63 0.10 0.82 0.04 0.04 4.28 0.03 0.65 0.02 2.59
Per 100g fresh weight (Fruit) [Turner,Kuhnlein]
Calories kcal Water g Protein g Carbohydrate g Ash g Fat g Crude Fiber g Thiamine mg Riboflavin mg Niacin mg Vitamin C mg
99-105 74 1.7-3.1 23-24.7 0.6-1.1 1.2 11.9 0.03 <0.01 <0.6 63.6-78
Per 100g fresh weight (Fruit) [Turner,Kuhnlein]
Calcium mg Phosphorus mg Sodium mg Magnesium mg Copper mg Zinc mg Iron mg Manganese mg
89-129 62 0.8 19.6-44 0.2 0.4-0.7 0.7-0.9 1.8
Per 100g fresh weight (peeled shoots) [Turner,Kuhnlein]
Calories kcal Water g Protein g Fat g Carbohydrate g Crude Fiber g Ash g Thiamine mg Riboflavin mg Niacin mg Vitamin C mg Vitamin A RE
22 93 0.6 0.4 5.5 1.0 0.6 0.01 0.09 0.3 5.9 41
Calcium mg Phosphorus mg Sodium mg Magnesium mg Copper mg Zinc mg Iron mg Manganese mg - - - -
24 26 1 29 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.2 - - - -


"Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[1, 11, 200]. Can be grown in a woodland garden though it is less likely to fruit well in such a position[K]. This plant has perennial stems without prickles[200] and is less invasive than the related R. odoratus[182]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]." [PFAF]

"It occurs early on in succession of the ecosystem. Since it root sprouts, you can find thimbleberry growing after a forest fire." [Krumm PNBB]


"Seed - requires stratification, is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Sow stored seed as early as possible in the year in a cold frame and stratify for a month at 3°c if sowing later than February. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring." [PFAF]


Page last modified on Monday, December 30, 2019 7:17 PM