Thimbleberries Fruiting

Has anyone had any success with getting Thimbleberries (Rubus parviflorus) to fruit in zones or areas outside where they are native?

Zones are generally indicating they will die under the lower zones but the reason they don’t go higher is because they will often not fruit under higher zones due to chill hours needed. It may survive but may require higher chills hours than you have.

Also you are zone 5 according to your bio which is well within thimbleberry zones.

Or oddball nutritional requirements. Take lingonberries, they are unable to update the nitrite form of hydrogen common in many fertilizers and need instead ammonium nitrate. I only mention this oddball plant trivia because wild plants can have very finicky and poorly documented growth requirements.

Some has been domesticated for landscape use, so a good bet could be a bred variety.

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That is the challenge with thimbleberry. There is very little documented on it. Most of what you see is about germinating seeds. As far as I know there is no cultivated varieties. Many natives don’t have cultivated varieties and some are hard to find even. A goof example is you can find people selling American and European Filbert but I cannot find any beaked filbert for some reason.

So I have some Thimbleberry growing in south-central Iowa, and I like how it grows, but from what I read it may never fruit even if it grows well, and it might have something to do with heat zones rather than hardiness zones. (Its range seems to follow a certain heat zone.) But this is only the second year for the ones I have. Time will tell. That is why I was asking. There is a Pink Thimbleberry (hybrid? parviflorus x odoratus?) that Oikos used to sell that it sounds like has a better time fruiting in hotter zones. I would love to get a hold of some seed for this, and try it out.

I grew up in Puerto Rico, in the valley of Caguas to be precise. Interestingly enough when I was growing up there were mango trees all over the valley but they would just not fruit. We are talking huge trees happily growing but not one mango in sight. Outside of the valley mangoes would set copious amounts of fruit. Fast forward to today; mangoes are fruiting there.

My pet theory is the 2001 volcanic eruption on a nearby island that spread volcanic ash as far as Puerto Rico, killing a bunch of citrus trees and in return helping the mangoes.

Very interesting! I’ll remain hopeful, maybe try a variety of conditions.