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



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

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 is said to grow outdoors 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

Altoona, Pennsylvania

Coatesville, Pennsylvania

Fenelton, Pennsylvania

Gibsonia, Pennsylvania

Newport Center, Vermont

Midlothian, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 4, 2019, nancyesan from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is not the Thimbleberry we are familiar with, which is Rubus parviflorus, which grows in wooded roadsides in northern Michigan and California, and has only delicious red berries and no thorns. Wish you could only call these Wild Black Raspberry or Black-Cap and not Thimbleberry. I would hate to order a Thimbleberry plant and end up with one of these.


On Jan 12, 2010, theNobody14161 from Mahtowa, MN 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.