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


Edible Fruits and Nuts



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


On Feb 19, 2008, malsprower from Daytona, FL 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.


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!


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.