Thimbleberry
Rubus parviflorus Nutt.

An erect shrub 2 to 6 feet tall, with cane-like stems and shredding, brown bark, and large 5 lobed leaves almost round outline. Leaves are deciduous, alternate, large (3-8 inches across), and shaped like maple leaves, with 3-7 palmate lobes and minute, fuzzy hairs on both sides of the leaf. Flowers are borne singly or in clusters at the end of branches, and are large (1 inches across) and white, with petals that look like crumpled tissue paper. Berries are red, slightly fuzzy, and look and detach like raspberries.  These give rise to  juicy, edible red berries.  It grows in humid moist places  often in partial shade, near streams and in sheltered woods from valleys to around 8,000 feet.. Found throughout the Rocky Mountains and in southeastern Idaho. 

Food Use:
 
The berries are tasty and can be used in a variety of ways.  The Indians at young shoots, either raw or cooked, and made a tea from the leaves.

Medicine Use: 
The leaves are antiemetic, astringent, blood tonic and stomachic. An infusion is used internally in the treatment of stomach complaints, diarrhoea and dysentery, anaemia, the spitting up of blood and to treat vomitting. An infusion has been taken by women when their periods are unusually long.. A poultice of the dried powdered leaves has been used to treat wounds and burns. The leaves have been crushed and rubbed over the skin to treat pimples and blackheads. A poultice of the leaf ashes, mixed with oil, has been used to treat swellings. The young shoots are alterative and antiscorbutic. The roots are appetizer, astringent, stomachic and tonic. An infusion has been used by thin people to help them gain weight. An infusion has also been used in the treatment of stomach disorders, diarrhea and dysentery. A decoction of the roots has been taken in the treatment of pimples and blackheads.

Planting
Seed germinates readily, but should be separated from the pulp. Seed not planted in the fall needs three months cold stratification to break seed dormancy. Hardwood cuttings grow easily. Small plants salvage well, but are somewhat slow to establish. Can also be grown from rhizome cuttings or divisions. Grows best in deep shade and moist soils. Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Can be grown in a woodland garden though it is less likely to fruit well in such a position. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn.

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