Terms of flowering honey plants in the USA and Canada

According to observations of naturalists and beekeepers.

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Common name:

Western thimbleberry

Scientific name:

Rubus parviflorus.

Other common name(s):

Thimbleberry, Western thimbleberry.

Life form:


Flowering time:

16 - 23 days.

Flowering period

in California for this plant is: JuneJuly.

30 kilograms per ha

Major in some areas

General distribution:

In North America, thimbleberry occupies a discontinuous range. It is a widespread native throughout most of western North America, with disjunct populations to the east in the Black Hills of South Dakota and even farther east in the Great Lakes region. Thimbleberry populations are large and widely distributed in western Canada and small and narrowly distributed in eastern Canada. Thimbleberry ranges from Alaska to northern Mexico along the Pacific Coast and is particularly common in the understory of humid Pacific Northwest forests.

The distribution of thimbleberry is narrower and more discontinuous than the above map suggests. In Alaska, thimbleberry occurs only in the coastal regions in the extreme southeastern part of the state, but in California, it occurs as far south as San Diego County. In Nevada, thimbleberry occurs only in the northwestern counties of Washoe, Carson City, and Douglas. In New Mexico and Arizona, thimbleberry is restricted to their common border, occurring primarily in western New Mexico and eastern Arizona. In Ontario, thimbleberry is restricted to the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Thimbleberry's distribution is thought to be driven by avoidance of aridity. When site conditions were compared in areas with thimbleberry, without thimbleberry, and where thimbleberry was exceptionally abundant, thimbleberry was most common at cool moist sites.

Map of distribution and habitat in USA

This plant is present in at least 22 states/provinces in this country.

See The Map

Botanical description:

Thimbleberry grows as an erect, multibranched, leafy deciduous shrub that may reach 10 feet (3 m) tall. Size and distinguishing characteristics relating to leaves, glands, and pubescence can be highly variable. Thimbleberry produces alternate, simple, maple-shaped leaves with 3- to 7-pointed lobes. Leaves generally measure up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and wide and have irregularly serrate margins. Leaf petioles are typically just slightly shorter than leaf blades. Thimbleberry flowers and fruits develop on 2nd-year stems. Flowers are often large (up to 2 inches (5 cm) across) and occur in clusters of 2 to 10 at the branch ends. Fruits are thick, firm, raspberry drupelets.

Thimbleberry often forms clumps or dense thickets through an "extensive network" of rhizomes.

Seasonal development:

Throughout thimbleberry's range, the timing of flower production does not vary much, but aside from flowering dates, little phenological information was available for thimbleberry. In coastal southeastern Alaska and in the Southwest region, typical flowering and fruiting dates were the same, June to July and August to September, respectively. Typical flowering dates were slightly earlier (May to July) in the Great Lakes region. Throughout thimbleberry's range, flowering dates as early as March and as late as August or September were reported.

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List of honey plants that may be blooming now in California
See the entire list

Acer saccharinum (aka: Silver maple, Soft maple)

Cercis orbiculata (aka: California redbud, Western redbud, Arizona redbud, Judas tree, Cercis occidentalis)

Rubus ursinus (aka: California blackberry, California dewberry, California grapeleaf dewberry, Douglasberry, Pacific blackberry)

Rubus spectabilis (aka: Salmonberry)

Salix gooddingii (aka: Goodding's willow, Dudley willow, Valley willow, Western black willow)

Prunus armeniaca (aka: Armenian plum, Ansu apricot, Siberian apricot, Tibetan apricot, Apricot tree)

Prunus andersonii (aka: Desert peach, Desert peachbush, Anderson peachbush, Wild almond)

Pyrus communis (aka: European pear, Common pear)

Salix exigua (aka: Narrowleaf willow, Coyote willow)

Celtis laevigata (aka: Hackberry, Sugarberry, Lowland hackberry, Sugar hackberry, Arizona sugarberry, Netleaf hackberry, Small's hackberry, Southern hackberry, Texas sugarberry)

Acer negundo (aka: Boxelder, Western boxelder, Arizona boxelder, California boxelder, Texas boxelder, Interior boxelder, Violet boxelder)

Aesculus californica (aka: California buckeye, Buckeye, Horsechestnut)

Acer macrophyllum (aka: Bigleaf maple, Big-leaf maple, Oregon maple)

Acer glabrum (aka: Rocky Mountain maple, Douglas maple, Greene's maple, New Mexico maple, Torrey maple)

Salix lucida (aka: Shining willow, Greenleaf willow, Tail-leaf willow, Whiplash willow, Pacific willow, Lance-leaf willow, Longleaf willow, Red willow, Western shining willow)

Malus domestica (aka: Pyrus pumila, Malus pumila, Apple)

Prunus emarginata (aka: Bitter cherry)

Prunus ilicifolia (aka: Hollyleaf cherry, Holly-leaved cherry, Islay, Evergreen cherry)

Crataegus douglasii (aka: Black hawthorn, Douglas hawthorn, River hawthorn, Western thornapple)

Populus tremuloides (aka: Quaking aspen, Trembling aspen, Aspen, American aspen, Mountain aspen, Golden aspen, Trembling poplar, White poplar, Popple, Alamo Blanco)

Salix scouleriana (aka: Scouler's willow, Upland willow)

Acer circinatum (aka: Vine maple)

Malus fusca (aka: Oregon crab, Oregon crab apple, Pacific crab apple, Western crab apple)

Salix bebbiana (aka: Bebb willow, Beak willow, Beaked willow, Long-beaked willow, Diamond willow, Chaton, Petit Minou, Smooth Bebb willow)