E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Rubus parviflorus Nutt.
Thimbleberry (Snow Bramble)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #72779)

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Distribution of Rubus parviflorus
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Rubus parviflorus var. parviflorus

Species Information

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Medium to tall shrub, 1-2.5 m tall, from extensive rhizomes, often thicket-forming; stems erect to ascending, unarmed, young growth fine-hairy and stalked-glandular, becoming smooth eventually; bark grey, flaking-off.
Alternate, deciduous, long-stalked, mapleleaf-shaped, 10-20 cm across, palmately 3- to 7-lobed, double-saw-toothed, green and smooth to finely glandular-fuzzy on both surfaces, the stalks with reddish glandular hairs; stipules lanceolate, 6-13 mm long.
Inflorescence of 2 to 10 stalked flowers in small, flat-topped, long-stalked, terminal clusters, the flower-stalks glandular-hairy; corollas white, bowl-shaped, the petals 5, spreading, egg-shaped, 10-30 mm long; calyces densely hairy and usually stalked-glandular, 5-lobed, the lobes egg-shaped with long tail-like tips, spreading, 10-20 mm long; ovaries superior; stamens numerous.
Drupelets, velvety-hairy, coherent in a red, hemispheric cluster that falls intact from the dry receptacle (raspberry-like), the berries 1-1.5 cm wide. vol4_8

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Red
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic open forests, thickets, streambanks, clearings and roadsides in the lowland to subalpine zones; common throughout S BC, south of approximately 56oN; N to S AK, E to ON and S to MI, MN, N MX, NM and CO.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Rubus parviflorus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 951 2500
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 235
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 189 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(2), BWBS(49), CDF(38), CWH(779), ESSF(1113), ICH(2885), IDF(558), MH(4), MS(717), PP(17), SBPS(27), SBS(1860)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to subalpine, North American deciduous shrub distributed equally in the Pacific, Cordilleran, and Central regions. Occurs on nitrogen-rich soils within boreal, temperate, and mesothermal climates; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and latitude and increases with increasing continentality. Very common in open-canopy forests and early-seral comĀ­munities on cutover and/ or burnt sites where it may hinder natural regeneration and growth of shade-intolerant conifers. Usually associated with Alnus rubra, Athyrium filix-femina, Epilobium angustifolium, Oplopanax horridus, Rubus spectabilis, Sambucus racemosa, Streptopus roseus, and Tiarella unifoliata. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References