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Thimbleberry, Western Thimbleberry, Salmonberry, Mountain Sorrel, White Flowering Raspberry, Western Thimble Raspberry - Rubus parviflorus


Family: Rosaceae - Rose family Genus Common Name: Blackberry Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Subshrub
Rubus parviflorus - Thimbleberry, Western Thimbleberry, Salmonberry, Mountain Sorrel, White Flowering Raspberry, Western Thimble Raspberry. Western Thimbleberry is a native of the western part of the United States, and the north central region as far east as Michigan. There is a disjunct population in Massachusetts; I would suspect that this is a naturalized population rather than indigent.

When I photographed this I had hoped it was Bartonberry - Rubus bartonianus - a Rubus species found only in Hell's Canyon. While similar, the easy access location of this plant (Kleinschmidt Grade) didn't match to any of the known locations of Rubus bartonianus, and the leaves are somewhat different, so that left me with Thimbleberry rather than Bartonberry.

Thimbleberry is also a common name for an eastern Rubus species, Rubus odoratus.

Found in:
AK, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, MA, MI, MN, MT, NM, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, WY

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Rubus parviflorus

Distribution of Rubus parviflorus in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 23 Jul 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Kleinschmidt Grade, Adams County, ID Date: 2011-June-19Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Western Thimbleberry blossoms have 5 white petals (they are in Rosaceae after all) surrounding a large number of yellow stamens, which will darken as they mature.
Rubus parviflorus

Site: Kleinschmidt Grade, Adams County, ID Date: 2011-June-19Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The fruit is red when ripe. While it is edible and can provide nourishment, reports are that it tends to be somewhat dry and not especially tasty. It reportedly can be used to make a good jelly.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Rubus parviflorus

Site: Kleinschmidt Grade, Adams County, ID Date: 2011-June-19Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
One of the unusual characteristics of Rubus parviflorus compared to other Rubus species is the lack of thorns. The relative size of the blossom to the large leaves is probably the reason for the species epithet - parviflorus - which means “small flowered.” The blossoms are actually as large as most Rubus species.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Rubus parviflorus

References used for identification and information:
  • http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RUPA
  • http://www.rook.org/earl/bwca/nature/shrubs/rubuspar.html

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer