Boulder Raspberry (was thimbleberry)

I’ve been using the term “wildflowers,” but I’m including flowering plants more broadly in my project.

Rubus parviflorus   7/8: Nope.  More likely Boulder Raspberry, Oreobatus deliciosus.

They’re almost finished flowering now, with just a few scattered flowers on the bushes, but a month or so ago the thimbleberry shrubs were thick with these fluttery pure-white blooms. There’s a large thimbleberry growing alongside our driveway between the house and the barn, and I admire these flowers multiple times a day in early summer.

It took me a while to identify this plant, because applying the word “berry” is an exercise in optimism. Several years ago, when an oddball May weather pattern dumped six inches of rain here over a a few weeks, our thimbleberry actually formed little red fruits: more buttons than berries, but enough to give me the “a-ha” moment and confirm an identification. I tried one, which tasted like I imagine a raspberry would if you mashed it, rinsed away the pulp, and just ate the seeds. It would be handy if the berries were more berry-like, since the there are no thorns on the plants, so picking would be relatively painless, but there’s more for the wildlife this way, I suppose.

This is a little bit of a cheat, but here’s the same bush a few weeks ago, in mid-June.

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