Terms of flowering honey plants in the USA and Canada

According to observations of naturalists and beekeepers.

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Scientific name:

Rubus parviflorus

Common name(s):

Thimbleberry, Western thimbleberry.

Life form:


Flowering time:

16 - 23 days.

Flowering period

in South Dakota 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 South Dakota
See the entire list

Rubus idaeus (aka: Raspberry, Black-haired red raspberry, Brilliant red raspberry, American red raspberry, Red raspberry, Smoothleaf red raspberry, Wild raspberry, Wild red raspberry, Grayleaf raspberry)

Rhus glabra (aka: Smooth sumac, Common sumac, Rocky Mountain sumac, Red sumac, Western sumac, White sumac)

Sinapis arvensis (aka: Charlock mustard, California rape, Charlock, Corn mustard, Canola, Kaber mustard, Rapeseed mustard)

Asclepias tuberosa (aka: Butterflyweed, Butterfly Milkweed, Orange Milkweed, Pleurisy Root, Chigger Flower, Canada root, Fluxroot, Indian paintbrush, Indian posy, Orange root, Orange Swallow-wort, Tuber root, Yellow milkweed, White-root, Windroot, Butterfly love)

Tilia americana (aka: American basswood, Basswood, Linden)

Rubus parviflorus (aka: Thimbleberry, Western thimbleberry)

Amorpha fruticosa (aka: Desert false indigo, False indigo-bush, Bastard indigobush, Indigo Bush)

Asclepias syriaca (aka: Сommon milkweed, Butterfly flower, Silkweed, Silky swallow-wort, Virginia silkweed)

Brassica rapa (aka: Field mustard, Common mustard, Wild mustard, Wild turnip, Forage turnip, Wild rutabaga, Birdsrape mustard, Rape mustard)

Cirsium arvense (aka: Creeping Thistle, Canada thistle, Field thistle, California thistle, Lettuce from hell thistle, Corn thistle, Cursed thistle, Green thistle, Hard thistle, Perennial thistle, Prickly thistle, Small-flowered thistle, Way thistle, Stinger-needles)

Echium vulgare (aka: Viper's bugloss, Blueweed, Blue thistle)

Agastache foeniculum (aka: Giant hyssop, Blue giant hyssop, Anise hyssop, Fragrant giant hyssop, Lavender giant hyssop)