Wooden Surface

Rubus odoratus

Purple flowering raspberry is a great choice for a home garden. Its beautiful form, tasty fruit, and lack of thorns makes it a worthwhile shrub to have.


Another common name for Rubus odoratus is “thimbleberry”. It’s small, thimble-sized, raspberries are similar to the cultivated or brambly raspberries we all know and love, but are slightly drier and less sweet. They are easy to snack on, a treat if you can get to them before the birds.


The purple flowering raspberry has large, beautiful purple-pinkish, lightly fragrant flowers that bloom profusely through much of the summer. These beautiful blooms will attract many pollinators to your yard, while the berries will keep the birds happy and well fed.


Rubus odoratus thrives in medium to moist, well drained soils in partial shade. But is adaptable to other conditions. In the wild it is often found at the woodland’s edge. Note that one shrub will produce some fruit but having multiple Rubus odorous shrubs increases productivity. It’s a long lived species and well worth a place (or two or three) in your garden.


Use: A delicious raspberry, cousin to the raspberries we find at the supermarket. Britt says it's the best raspberry ever.


ECO-TYPE: Grown from seed from Maine. Wild Seed Project, southern Maine.


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Photos courtesy of Dan Wilder

Rubus odoratus (Purple flowering raspberry)

  • details

    SIZE: 1/2 quart pot
    type: shrub
    sun needs: full sun, part sun/part shade, shade
    water needs: average, moist
    height: 5-8'
    plant spacing: space 3'-6' apart
    bloom time: June, July, August
    bloom color: pink
  • special notes

    edible parts: berries. Drier in taste than the cultivated raspberries we are used to. This is a Blue Stem favorite.
    salt tolerant. Some salt exposure should not be fatal to the plant but some leaf burning may still occur.