THIMBLEBERRY Rubus parviflorus

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Rubus parviflorus, commonly called thimbleberry, or redcaps, is a species of Rubus native to North America. The plant has large hairy leaves and no thorns. It bears edible red fruit similar in appearance to a raspberry.

The flowers are 2 to 6 cm (3⁄4 to 2+1⁄4 in) in diameter, with five white petals and numerous pale yellow stamens. The flower of this species is among the largest of any Rubus species.

R. parviflorus is cultivated by specialty plant nurseries as an ornamental plant, used in traditional, native plant, and wildlife gardens, in natural landscaping design, and in habitat restoration projects. The fruit has fragrance.

The flowers support pollinators, including of special value to Native bees, honeybees, and bumblebees. The fruit is attractive to various birds and mammals, including bears. It is the larval host and a nectar source for the yellow-banded sphinx moth.

Wild thimbleberries can be eaten raw or dried (the water content of ripe thimbleberries is quite variable), and can be made into a jam which is sold as a local delicacy in some parts of their range, notably in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan.

Type: Hardy shrub

Location: Sun

Hardiness zones: 3-10

Seeds per pack: 5

Germination: Surface sow onto a sterile seed-start mix. Water, and place in plastic, and in the fridge for 90 days for stratification. Then bring to warmth for them to germinate. Keep continually moist.

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