Rubus odoratus - L.
Common Name Thimbleberry, Purpleflowering raspberry
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Moist thickets and woodland borders[43].
Range Eastern N. America - Quebec to Ontario and south to Tennessee. Occasionally naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Rubus odoratus Thimbleberry, Purpleflowering raspberry,_by_Mary_Vaux_Walcott.jpg
Rubus odoratus Thimbleberry, Purpleflowering raspberry$Mathe94$
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Rubus odoratus is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 2.5 m (8ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Ground Cover;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[105, 161, 257]. Somewhat tart and dry[2], it is usually cooked and used in pies, jellies, preserves etc[183]. The fruit can be dried for later use[257]. This species rarely fruits well in Britain, probably due to our cooler summers[11].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Diuretic;  Kidney;  Odontalgic;  Salve;  Stomachic.

The leaves are highly astringent[207]. They are used in the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea[238]. The leaves have been used as a wash for old and foul sores, boils etc[257]. A decoction or infusion of the branches has been used to settle the stomach[257]. A decoction of the leaves and stems has been used to treat kidney complaints[257]. The root is astringent. A decoction of the root or the root bark has been used as a treatment for diarrhoea and colds[257]. The root has been used in the treatment of toothaches[257]. The berries have been used as a diuretic[257].


Other Uses

A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit[168]. Plants are very vigorous and can be grown as a tall ground cover for large areas[208].
Cultivation details
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[1, 11, 200]. Grows well in a sandy soil but does not like clay[182]. Prefers a semi-shaded position. Does well in a woodland garden though it is less likely to fruit well in such a position. A very ornamental plant[1], it is hardy to about -30°c[184]. The glandular hairs on the stems have a powerful resinous scent somewhat like cedarwood[245]. A vigorous suckering shrub, it has perennial stems without prickles[200]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].
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.
Other Names
Flowering raspberry, Thimbleberry, Rose-flowering raspberry,
Found In
Australia, Britain, Canada, Europe, North America, USA,
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Actinidia rubus 30
Rubus abbreviansVermont blackberry30
Rubus acaulisDwarf Raspberry31
Rubus acer 10
Rubus adenophorus 20
Rubus adenotrichusMora Comun20
Rubus affinis 20
Rubus alexeterius 20
Rubus allegheniensisAlleghany Blackberry, Graves' blackberry32
Rubus almusMayes Dewberry, Garden dewberry30
Rubus amabilis 30
Rubus ampelinus 20
Rubus arcticusArctic Bramble, Arctic raspberry, Dwarf raspberry50
Rubus argutusHighbush Blackberry, Sawtooth blackberry21
Rubus arizonicusArizona Dewberry20
Rubus australis 20
Rubus avipes 20
Rubus baileyanusBailey's dewberry20
Rubus barbatus 20
Rubus bellobatusKittatinny Blackberry20
Rubus biflorus 30
Rubus bifronsHimalayan berry, Hybrid European blackberry, Hybrid blackberry10
Rubus bloxamii 20
Rubus buergeri 20
Rubus caesiusDewberry, European dewberry20
Rubus calycinusWild Raspberry10
Rubus canadensisAmerican Dewberry, Smooth blackberry41
Rubus candicans 20
Rubus caucasicus 20
Rubus caudatus 20


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Botanical References
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Readers comment
   Sun Oct 23 2005
Hi, I just want to mention that the thimbleberry is also found in the western U.S., from Alaska to Newfoundland, and Alaska to California and on into northern Mexico. I\'ve lived in western Oregon and northwestern California for most of my life, and it\'s found in both of these locations. Thanks!
Jade   Thu Aug 7 2008
I was in Southern British Columbia, Canada. And I ate a Thimbleberry.... I thought it was a strange raspberry
Deanna Gregory   Fri Aug 28 2009
I live in Vermont, and when I saw these plants from the road I could have sworen that they were purple roses, to my suprize nopw they are a sort of raspberry, I make jams so I am eager to start picking them. Yummmy to all I knows tummy DEE
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Subject : Rubus odoratus  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
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