Rubus parviflorus - Nutt.
Common Name Thimbleberry
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woodlands, canyons and open areas[62].
Range Western N. America - Alaska to Ontario and California. Occasionally naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Rubus parviflorus Thimbleberry
Rubus parviflorus Thimbleberry
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Rubus parviflorus is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.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.

R. nutkanus.

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

Fruit - raw or cooked[62, 101, 118, 183]. It makes excellent jams and preserves[257]. The fruit can also be dried for later use[183]. A sweet and pleasant flavour[2, 85, 94] though this is not always properly developed in the cooler summers of Britain[11]. The fruit is very seedy[155]. Rich in vitamin C[183]. The hemispherical fruit is about 20mm in diameter[200]. Young shoots - peeled and eaten cooked or raw[2, 85, 101, 118, 172]. The shoots are harvested as they emerge in the spring, and whilst they are still young and tender[161, 183]. They can be cooked like asparagus[257]. The shoots are rich in vitamin C[183]. Flowers - raw[172].
Medicinal Uses

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Antiemetic;  Antiphlogistic;  Appetizer;  Astringent;  Blood tonic;  Poultice;  Salve;  Stomachic;  
Tonic;  Women's complaints.

The leaves are antiemetic, astringent, blood tonic and stomachic[172, 257]. An infusion is used internally in the treatment of stomach complaints, diarrhoea and dysentery, anaemia, the spitting up of blood and to treat vomiting[238, 257]. An infusion has been taken by women when their periods are unusually long[257]. A poultice of the dried powdered leaves has been used to treat wounds and burns[257]. The leaves have been crushed and rubbed over the skin to treat pimples and blackheads[257]. A poultice of the leaf ashes, mixed with oil, has been used to treat swellings[257]. The young shoots are alterative and antiscorbutic[257]. The roots are appetizer, astringent, stomachic and tonic[172, 257]. An infusion has been used by thin people to help them gain weight[257]. An infusion has also been used in the treatment of stomach disorders, diarrhoea and dysentery[238, 257]. A decoction of the roots has been taken in the treatment of pimples and blackheads[257].


Other Uses
Dye;  Lining;  Soap.

The leaves are used to line baskets etc for carrying soft fruit or other delicate items[99, 118]. Plants are very vigorous and can be grown as a tall ground cover for large areas[208]. A soap is obtained from the boiled bark[99, 118, 257]. A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit[168].
Cultivation details
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].
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
Found In
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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Readers comment
Jian-Min Zhou   Tue Mar 17 2009
Hi, I would like to buy some seeds. Can you tell me where I can buy them? Thanks
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Subject : Rubus parviflorus  

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