Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Black Raspberry, Wild Black Raspberry, Black-Cap, Thimbleberry
Rubus occidentalis

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rubus (ROO-bus) (Info)
Species: occidentalis (ok-sih-den-TAY-liss) (Info)

Synonym:Rubus occidentalis var. pallidus

One vendor has this plant for sale.

26 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

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:
Sun to Partial Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By NatureWalker
Thumbnail #1 of Rubus occidentalis by NatureWalker

By creekwalker
Thumbnail #2 of Rubus occidentalis by creekwalker

By creekwalker
Thumbnail #3 of Rubus occidentalis by creekwalker

By creekwalker
Thumbnail #4 of Rubus occidentalis by creekwalker

By olmpiad
Thumbnail #5 of Rubus occidentalis by olmpiad


3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral theNobody14161 On Jan 12, 2010, theNobody14161 from Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

A plant with good food attached to it. Has some thorns that arent too bad. It can compete fairly decently, and berried nicely in a woods next to my house until garlic mustard annihilated it.

Positive Malus2006 On Oct 15, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Zone 4 hardy for sure - they are very common in Anoka Country Minnesota in sandy soil - their fruits change from red to almost black, giving them the look of blackberries, giving them that name. They will grow in shade or sun, rooting themselves by having their top fall over and touch the ground. They fruits much better in more sun but they seem to resent being in too open an environment in the wild, prefering woodland edge and opening. Maybe they root poorly in thick grasses? Hard to tell about zone 3a - maybe they thrive in areas with more neutral or basic soil, with 3b a maybe - other raspberries species and allies like thimbleberry seem to replace them further north at least in Minnesota.

Positive malsprower On Feb 19, 2008, malsprower from Stevens Point, WI wrote:

these plants grow very well in the wild, i have picked large berries from these plants. i love the unique flavor of the berries, very sweet and refreshing. i think that this plant is a wonder and i have never seen the berries sold in a grocery store here.

Positive creekwalker On Nov 5, 2007, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

My home is surrounded by woods with these plants grwoing all around and I love them! The fruit is usually pretty sour, but they make great jellies, syrups, etc. They self spread, but do not seem to be terribly invasive. I wouldn't mind more of them! Great food for the animals too!

Neutral tcfromky On Sep 28, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Also known as Jewel Black Raspberry. This is a vigorous, erect plant that adapts well to many areas. It grows in zones 5 - 8. Plants are resistant to disease and are consistently productive.


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

Cary, Illinois
Flora, Indiana
Osborne, Kansas
Harned, Kentucky
Somerset, Kentucky
Cumberland, Maryland
Laurel, Maryland
Millersburg, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Cole Camp, Missouri
Marshall, Missouri
Cary, North Carolina
Coatesville, Pennsylvania
Fenelton, Pennsylvania
Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
Newport Center, Vermont
Midlothian, Virginia

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