Thimbleberry is an imprecise term sometimes used by different people to describe two different plants. Both of these plants are of the Rubus genus. The way we choose to call it, Rubus parviflorus is Thimbleberry and Rubus spectabilis is Salmonberry. Thimbleberry has white flowers and Salmonberry has magenta colored flowers. Both have similar foliage and similar looking berries. They sometimes mix together into one large thicket. It is easy to see why folks get confused, but once they are in bloom it should be clear as to which is which.

thimbleberry

thimbleberry

thimbleberry

Like Blackberries, Thimbleberries are not true berries. Instead they are composite fruit composed of a core that is surrounded by druplets. Native Americans ate the fruit and frequently made it an important part of their medicine bag. Thimbleberries can be made into a tasty jam, but the fact that they have a large number of tiny seeds makes it somewhat less desirous than jams made from other fruits. Our Thimbleberries will be found in the understory of our wooded areas. They bloom from April into early summer.

Our guess is that the name probably comes from the shape of the fruit,
but your guess is as good as ours.