Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Thimbleberry, Purple-Flowering Raspberry
Rubus odoratus

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rubus (ROO-bus) (Info)
Species: odoratus (oh-dor-AY-tus) (Info)

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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7 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Feb 24, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is a good ornamental where you have enough space, especially on the edge of moist woodland.

The deep pink flowers are showy and produced over a long season. The fruit is also ornamental and is relished by wildlife. (It's edible---I find it bland, but some people love it.) The canes have harmless hairs instead of sharp prickers.

Like all raspberries, it spreads by suckering. A good plant for wild areas.

Positive Alaria On Jul 17, 2010, Alaria from Rockport, MA wrote:

I came across this plant growing wild while camping out in Vermont many years ago. Not only was it very lovely but its raspberries, unlike most of those mentioned in the comments, were quite delicious! They were a bit different from standard raspberries -- aside from the dome shape, their flavor is hard to describe: raspberry but a bit more dry, brisk, and subtle -- a kind of "sophisticated," flavorful berry. Perhaps the quality of the flavor varies among these plants?

Positive Daylahmnas On Jun 15, 2010, Daylahmnas from Chester, MA (Zone 3b) wrote:

Seen along roadsides and then at a nursery for the cost of fifteen dollars, I thought this plant would add a bit of variety to my ever changing garden landscape. I waited a year and the birds gifted me with this plant, located where I would have never have thought to plant it. It has since grown to five feet wide and three feet wide, burgeoning with blooms from June 15th to frost. It dies back in winter but the bare branches protect the north-west end of the porch from the incessantly strong winter and spring 5-50 mph. winds. The intense fushia-magenta blooms provide a welcome change of color and venue in the backdrop. This plant has many volunteers in the spring but they are easily discarded or transplanted in other locations with success if watered frequently.

Positive malsprower On Jan 3, 2008, malsprower from Stevens Point, WI wrote:

This plant grows very fast and spreads like crazy! One unexpectedly started growing to fill an empty spot in our flower garden and new shoots from underground kept on popping up. I had to prune this plant constantly. This plant is very beautiful though and looks good in our flower garden. The raspberries taste soooo good! We find these things wild all over Vermont.

Positive MShelly On Sep 3, 2004, MShelly from Jackson, NJ wrote:

I have plants growing at my house in NJ. from NC., VT., MA., PA. and NJ. They need plenty of water and do not grow well in pots. A plant I obtained from Tripple Brook Nursery had 126 flowers on a primocane in 3 bunches in July. The plant was 3 years old. It and the NC. plant had decent, but short lived flavor. Most plants have few flowers. I have seen none on 1 year old plants. The NC. plant was taller, later fruiting, and had a rounder fruit. Fruit falls off the day it ripens. Most plants are self-incompatible. If you want to see the fruit, you need 2 or more plants, preferably from different sources.
They do not have thorns but glans. They have a slight sticky feel when touched. The glans cover the buds giving a unique look. The leaves are simple, unlike most rubus species.
I am trying to do some breeding work with this species.

Positive CatskillKarma On Jul 20, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

This plant grows wild all over the mountain peaks in the Catskills, where it is a harsh zone 4, considerably colder than above. It grows alongside roadsides at lower altitudes, and offers a spectacular sight. I grow it in deep shade in my garden, zone 4b, 2000 feet below the peaks. It flourishes in my soggy wet clay with no attention, except pruning of anything unruly. It is much prettier than raspberries grown for fruit, and the fruits themselves, while not worth eating, are very decorative. All the plants around here flower a radiant deep pink, sort of crude, but visible from a great distance. It does have thorns, but they are not too vicious.

Positive Bethanyves On Jul 19, 2004, Bethanyves from montreal
Canada wrote:

Grow in full sun and shadow as well. Easy to propagate by divising in spring or fall. Grown in average soil as background for rudbeckia mix in full sun and with hosta & astilbe in shade.
Do flowers in both place, but incrase faster in sun. Do not seem to be invasive.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 26, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Fruit is tasteless. This rambling shrub can reach up to 5 ft tall.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Falmouth, Maine
Valley Lee, Maryland
Chester, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Haines Falls, New York
Jefferson, New York
Syracuse, New York
West Kill, New York
Clearfield, Pennsylvania
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Newport Center, Vermont

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