Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Coastal BC Plants: Thimbleberry


The Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) is a prolific shrub along roads, in clearings, and logging slashes in Coastal BC. 

Thimbleberry is in the rose family like blackberries and raspberries. Thimbleberry plants grow in dense thickets up to 2.5 metres tall, rapidly spreading from underground rhizomes. The large green palmate shaped leaves are fuzzy and have five points.  Unlike the other berries, the canes do not have thorns.

The flowers are white with five petals and yellow stamens. They have the distinction of being the largest of any plants in the Rubus genus.

The berries ripen to a bright red in mid to late summer. Their shape resembles a thimble, leading to the plant's common name. Thimbleberries are a favourite with forest animals and birds.

Pick thimbleberries when they are bright red and juicy. They can be eaten raw, but because they have many small seeds they may best made into jelly or jam. -- Margy

References: E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia (online) and Eat/Drink/Breathe: Recipes and Reflections from the Westcoast (online).


  1. An interesting plant.

  2. Fascinating post and lovely photos. Your last photo is stunning!

  3. So like raspberries which I love! Great photos!

  4. This is not just a beautiful plant, but it's fruit sounds terrific. Blessings!

  5. These look very much like what we call wild raspberries. We had them growing wild on the farm of my childhood in eastern Australia, on the shady side of a hill. We picked bucket loads and my mum would stew them up and freeze them in dessert size lots.

  6. Wow! A new kind.
    Haven't seen this here in Bangalore.
    Great pics.
    Happy ABCW!

  7. as tiny as a thimble!

  8. MMMM! They make great jelly!

  9. Thanks Margy for introducing this plant the name of which I didn't know and the translation of which I cannot find in my dictionaries.
    Have a great week, Margy.
    Wil, ABCW Team.

  10. I have never heard these berries called by this name before, interesting.

  11. ohhh jummyyyyy

    on ice or in yoghurt...

    Have a nice abc-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

  12. They look a lot like raspberries. The lagoon may be a bit wind swept, but the island itself protects from winds from the west.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  13. A day in the sunshine picking berries, perfect. Interesting plant.

  14. That reminds me of plants where I grew up in Holland.


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy