Thimbleberry – Rosales Rosaceae Rubus parviflorus


Identification & Description:
A decidious shrub growing to 2.5m by 2m at a medium rate. It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. We rate it 3 out of 5 for usefulness.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Habitats and Possible Locations
Woodland, Sunny Edge, Dappled Shade, Ground Cover.

Edible Uses
Flowers; Fruit; Stem.
Fruit – raw or cooked. It makes excellent jams and preserves. The fruit can also be dried for later use. A sweet and pleasant flavour though this is not always properly developed in the cooler summers of Britain. The fruit is very seedy. Rich in vitamin C. The hemispherical fruit is about 20mm in diameter.

Low growing shrub or vine. Twigs red-brown, finely pubescent. Leaves alternate, simple, reniform, shallowly lobed above the middle, 3.3-5 cm (1.3-2 in) long and wide; glabrous above, pubescent beneath; cordate at base, obtuse at apex, margins serrate; stipules scarious. Inflorescence a solitary, showy flower, 3.8-6 cm (1.5-2.3 in) in diameter; calyx 5-lobed, pubescent or semi-glandular; petals 5, white; pistils many, inserted on hypanthium; stamens numerous; flowers appear from May to June. Fruit an aggregation of drupelets, about 13 mm (0.5 in) in diameter, hemispheric, dark purple; fruits mature July to September.

Young shoots – peeled and eaten cooked or raw. The shoots are harvested as they emerge in the spring, and whilst they are still young and tender. They can be cooked like asparagus. The shoots are rich in vitamin C.

Flowers – raw.

1. Erect shrub 4-7 feet tall with large soft palmately veined leaves.
2. Large white flowers bloom in May.
3. A scarlet, thimble-shaped sweet fruit appears in July.