thimbleberry

(Rubus parviflorus)

Conservation Status
thimbleberry
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Thimbleberry is an erect perennial shrub that rises from an underground horizontal stem (rhizome). It can be 40 to 80 long, though in Minnesota it is usually no more than 18 to 48 in height. It often forms large, dense clumps.

A series of biennial stems (canes) are sent up from the perennial rhizome. The canes are erect to ascending, and unbranched. They do not have bristles or prickles. In the first year they are green and are covered with glandular hairs. In the second year they are woody and hairless and the bark is thin, tan, papery, and flaky.

The leaves are large, alternate, deciduous, and long stalked. The leaf stalks are 2¼ to 7 long and are covered with reddish, gland-tipped hairs. At the base of each leaf stalk there is a pair of leaf-like appendages (stipules). The stipules are lance-shaped and ¼ to ¾ long. The leaf blades are velvety to the touch, round to kidney-shaped in outline and about as long as wide. They are usually 4 to 8 long, sometimes up to 12 long. They and are heart-shaped or deeply cut at the base, and are palmately cut into usually 5, sometimes 3, shallow, pointed lobes. The lobes are cut no more than one third of the way to the midvein. The upper surface is green and sparsely to densely covered with short hairs. The lower surface is somewhat lighter green and similarly hairy but with glandular hairs along the main veins. The margins are irregularly toothed or double toothed with sharp, forward-pointing teeth.

The inflorescence is either a single flower or a long-stalked, leafy, flat-topped cluster (corymb) with 2 to 10 large flowers at the end of the stem. They appear from May to late July, peaking in late June to late July. Each flower is in a to 1½ long stalk (pedicel). The pedicel is densely covered with glandular hairs.

The flowers are 1to 2 in diameter. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, and numerous stamens. The sepals are green, egg-shaped to triangular, and have a narrow, elongated, tail-like tip. They are to 11 16long including the tip. They are covered on the back (outside) with very short, orangish-yellow, gland-tipped hairs; and on the inside with white non-glandular hairs. The petals are white, broadly egg-shaped to nearly circular, and to 1 long. They have a texture like crinkled tissue paper. The stamens are pale yellow.

The fruit is a juicy, fuzzy, broadly hemispheric, to ¾ wide aggregate of multiple drupelets. It is initially pinkish-white, becoming progressively darker pink, eventually bright red when ripe. It matures in early August to mid-September. When ripe it falls intact to the ground.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

40 to 80

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist to moderate moisture. Forest clearings, woodland openings, thickets, roadsides, power lines. Partial sun.

 
     
 
Ecology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

May to late July

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

thimbleberry stem gall wasp (Diastrophus kincaidii)

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 24, 28.

 
  3/23/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

The primary range for this species is western North America, stretching from New Mexico to the Pacific coast and north to Alaska. The presence of isolated populations in the Great Lakes region is probably due to a once contiguous range separated by repeated glaciations.

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon but often locally abundant

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Subclass Rosidae  
  Superorder Rosanae  
 

Order

Rosales (roses, elms, figs, and allies)  
 

Family

Rosaceae (rose)  
  Subfamily Rosoideae  
  Tribe Rubeae  
 

Genus

Rubus (blackberry)  
  Subgenus Anoplobatus  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Plants from coastal California have been recognized as var. velutinus. The underside of the leaves tend to be densely hairy. However, this may be an environmentally induced variation. Most taxonomists do not recognize any varieties of thimbleberry.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Rubacer tomentosum

Rubacer velutinum

Rubus nutkanus

Rubus nutkanus var. velutinus

Rubacer parviflorum

Rubus parviflorus ssp. velutinus

Rubus parviflorus var. bifarius

Rubus parviflorus var. grandiflorus

Rubus parviflorus var. heteradenius

Rubus parviflorus var. hypomalacus

Rubus parviflorus var. parvifolius

Rubus parviflorus var. parviflorus

Rubus parviflorus var. velutinus

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

salmonberry

thimbleberry

western thimbleberry

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Aggregate fruit

A compound fruit consisting of many separate individual fruits derived from separate ovaries in a single flower, like a raspberry or blackberry.

 

Corymb

A flat-topped or convex inflorescence in which the stalked flowers grow upward from various points on the main stem to approximately the same horizontal plane. The outer flowers open first.

 

Drupe

A fleshy fruit with a single hard, stone-like core, like a cherry or peach.

 

Glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.

 

Palmate

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes or leaflets that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.

 

Pedicel

In plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. In Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Stipule

A small, leaf-like, scale-like, glandular, or rarely spiny appendage found at the base of a leaf stalk, usually occurring in pairs and usually dropping soon.

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Luciearl
       

Found on the Superior Hiking trail, about 3-4 ft. tall. In one area of the trail it seemed to be everywhere.

  thimbleberry    
       
Bill Reynolds
       
  thimbleberry    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Habitat

  thimbleberry   thimbleberry
       

Plant

  thimbleberry    
       

Infructescence

  thimbleberry   thimbleberry
       

Fruit

  thimbleberry   thimbleberry
       

Leaves

  thimbleberry    
       
       

 

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Other Videos
 
  Thimbleberry Flowers (Rubus parviflorus)
Wandering Sole TV
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 6, 2012

Blossoms on thimbleberry shrubs in the East Kootenays.

   
       
  Rubus parviflorus
Eugen Helmbrecht
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 14, 2009

Dendrology class

   
       
  Rubus parviflorus
wetvideocamera
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 26, 2013

Thimbleberry is a shrub that grows up to 3 meters in height. Large white flowers in the spring give way to rounded seedy edible berries. June 2013

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

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Luciearl
October 2019

Location: Cook county, Superior Hiking Trail

Found on the Superior Hiking trail, about 3-4 ft. tall. In one area of the trail it seemed to be everywhere.

thimbleberry


Bill Reynolds
6/25/2005

Location: near the lower falls at Gooseberry Falls State park.

 

thimbleberry


     
     
 
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