Jun. 2, 2017

thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus

Thimbleberry has the largest flowers of any of the raspberry and blackberry genus. Why then is it named R. parviflorus? Parviflorus means small flower. A sense of humor? A little too much to drink? We will probably never know. It seems like naming plants would have been a serious business!
Thimbleberry is the oldest known specimen collected from Michigan. It was collected at Michilimackinac, now Mackinac Island, in 1810 by Thomas Nuttall. He was the source of this misnomer. The flowers are close to two inches across. The fruit is a local delicacy, source of many jars of jam, and many trailside tidbits. It grows in AK, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, MA, MI, MN, NT, NM, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, WY, AB, BC, and ON. Alger Co MI, 7/14/14.