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Thimbleberry fruit


Introduction of Thimbleberry fruit


            Scientific name - Rubus parviflorus


Rubus parviflorus indigenous to western and Northern America and the Great Lakes region is a species of Rubus and is commonly recognized as thimbleberry. A composite edible fruits is borne by the plant which is just about a centimeter in diameter and it ripens during the mid to late summer. Bright red in color, unlike other raspberries they are not a true berry, however it is an aggregate fruit of copious drupelets around a central core. When picked the drupelets may be carefully removed disjointedly from the core, leaving a concave fruit which bears a resemblance to a thimble, conceivably giving the plant its name. Compared to raspberries, thimbleberries are softer, flatter and larger. They have many seeds that are quite small. Seeing that, the fruit is very softer, it does not pack or ship well and as a result, they are rarely cultivated for commercial purpose.


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Nutritional Value of Thimbleberry fruit


Carbohydrates 10 gm
Fat 0.33 gm
Protein 1 gm
Calories 47


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Cultural uses of Thimbleberry fruit


Cultural uses of thimbleberries are widespread and many first nations groups have harvested it expansively. In order to make tea, the leaves were mixed with wild strawberry and wild trailing blackberry. Sprouts were peeled collectively and were eaten raw as a vegetable- which is an excellent source of Vitamin C.

The berries of the plant were consumed fresh or desiccated, every now and then; they were also pressed into cakes, for winter use together with clams.

While still pink, they were collected by some ethnic groups and positioned in cedar bark bags and it is believed that they sprinkle some water on top of the bag to make them ripe in the bag.

In addition, the leaves of the plant were also used as wadding to line baskets. The leaves apart from being used for this wadding purpose, they were also dried and crushed to use it on burns which in turn helped prevent scarring. Bark of the tree was boiled to add it as an ingredient in soap.


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Health Benefits of Thimbleberry fruit


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Seeing that the leaves of the tree are antiemetic, astringent, blood tonic and stomachic, an infusion of them were used in the treatment of:

Stomach complaints

Diarrhea and dysentery

Anemia, the spitting up of blood and to treat vomiting

Spaced out from treating above said complaints, they were also used to treat unusual long periods in women. A poultice or cataplasm of the dried out powdered leaves has been used to treat burns and wounds. They were also crushed and rubbed over the skin to have a clear face and it was believed that they cured blackheads and pimples. To treat swellings, poultice of the leaf ashes were mixed with oil. The young shoots are alterative and it has the effect of preventing or curing scurvy, on the other hand, the roots are appetizer, astringent, stomachic and tonic. An infusion of them has been used to gain weight and has also been used in the treatment of stomach disorders, diarrhea and dysentery. A decoction of the roots was also used in the treatment of pimples and blackheads.

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Cultivation


Prolific in nature, they grow in their natural habitat from the northwest coast to the Great Lakes region. Subsequent to the seeding in manifold varieties of soil, they grow rapidly and easily. Predominantly used as an ornamental plant for its rich fall foliage and beautiful spring flowers, they are cared as how other cane berries are cared such as raspberries. People who are planting them home can enjoy the ripe young shoots, tea from the leaves or jelly from the sweet fruits.

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Propagation Techniques


In the Rubus species, R. parviflorus is one of the most difficult to propagate, as far as professional horticulturalists handling it, it can be quite fruitful. Even though these cuttings may not take root, in order to multiply the plant, the rhizomes are cut into sections especially during the dormant winter months and then proceeding with rooting these cuttings in a cold frame is said to help, as a matter of fact, it is one of the easiest means as well. The seeds requiring some amount of stratification, it is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. In case if there is a plan of sowing later than February, then stored seeds should be stored as early as possible in the year in a cold frame, given that, stratify for a month at 3c. When they are large enough to handle, it is good to prick out the seedlings and grow them on in a cold frame. During the late spring they are planted out into their permanent positions of the following year. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring

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