WSU Clark County Extension

PNW Plants Searchable, categorized images


Scientific name: Rubus parviflorus

Type:Deciduous shrubs
Plant Requirements
Zone:3 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:8 ft
Width:8 ft
Bloom:Showy flowers
Bloom Time:April to May
Bloom Color:White
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description As a relative of the cultivated red raspberry, thimbleberry is a Northwest native shrub whose fruit resemble the shape of a thimble.

This deciduous shrub grows to a height of 8’ at maturity in dense clumps via under-ground network of rhizomes. New shoots, referred to as primocanes, come up the first year and then overwinter and bear fruit during the 2nd and 3rd years. Unlike raspberries and blackberries, thimbleberry shoots lack thorns.

The stems bear very large leaves (10” across) which are simple, palmately-lobed and medium green in color (but pale beneath).

Flowers are considered showy, with their white petals. As the petals drop, the young fruit begin to form. Upon maturity in the fall the reddish raspberry like berries ripen to flattish thimble-like structures which are often dry and fall apart when picked. The berries can be eaten but they are very seedy. However, birds, squirrels, and chipmunks all greatly enjoy the ripe fruit. Early native Americans picked the berries and dried them for later use.

Thimbleberry grows well on a wide array of sites from moist to dry. This species is considered moderately shade tolerant.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234