Thimbleberry

Thimbleberry

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Species: Rubus parviflorus

History: Thimbleberries are a native plant closely related to raspberries and blackberries. Cultivated for edible, ornamental, and ecological reasons today, they have also historically been used by indigenous peoples as a source of food and medicine.

Why We Grow It: This is an excellent under-story plant that produces smaller, flatter berries than cultivated raspberries, but with a delicious sweet-tart flavour. Apparently young shoots can be harvested in spring, lightly peeled, and then boiled for an asparagus-like 'vegetable'- we haven't tried this yet, but would love to hear from you if you have! The thornless bush grows up to 7 feet tall, though can be kept smaller with pruning/trellising/tying down. The fruit grows best on 2-3 year old canes unlike raspberries, which makes this an ideal plant for living fences.

Canadian Hardiness Zone: 3

Soil Preference: Can grow in just about any soil as long as it is well-drained

Growth Habits: Shrub reaches 2m tall 

Thorns: No

Sun/Shade: Full sun to partial shade (approx. 6-10 hours of sun daily)

Pollination: Self-pollinating, this variety will produce fruit without a different raspberry variety but will produce more and better fruit if one is present    

Bloom Colour: White

Ripens: July/August

Storage: Keeps less than a week when stored in the fridge

Recommended Use: Fresh eating, drying

Height Above Soil Line: 30cm

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