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Rubus (parviflorus)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Rosaceae
Family Common Name: Rose Family
Scientific Name: Rubus parviflorus Nutt.
Common Name: Thimbleberry
Species Code: RUBPAR
Ecotype: Saint Mary, Glacier National Park, Glacier County, MT 1575 meters
General Distribution: R. parviflorus is found in moist to dry, wooded to open areas from near sea level to the subalpine zone; from Alaska to southern California, and inland from the coast to the Great Lakes, and through the Rocky Mountains from Alberta to northern Mexico.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 7 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 15 cm<br> Caliper:4 mm<br> Root System: Firm plug in container
Propagule Collection: Seed is collected in late August when fruits are bright red and are easily pulled from hypanthium disk. Seeds are tan at maturity.
Fruits are collected in plastic bags and kept under refrigeration prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are separated from fruit by using a macerator (Dybvig seed cleaner) and are washed and screened.
Seed longevity is 5 to 10 years at 3 to 5C and low humidity in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kilogram: 450,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 90 to 100%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are cleansed with 1:3 (v:v)water and 3%hydrogen peroxide rinse for 15 minutes. Seeds are placed into a 24 to 48 hour running water soak rinse to a 90 day cold, moist stratification.
Seeds are placed in fine mesh bags and are buried in moistened peat moss in ventilated containers under refrigeration at 3C.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and outdoor nursery.
Seeding Method: Direct Seeding.Seeds are sown by hand and lightly covered with medium.
Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled sphagnum peat moss, perlite, vermiculite.
Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 21 to 25C during the day for 12 hours and 15 to 18C at night for 12 hours.
Establishment Phase: Germination is uniform and is usually complete in 2 weeks. Cotyledons emerged 5 days after sowing. True leaves appeared 10 days after sowing and seedlings were thinned at this stage.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Growth is rapid following establishment. Seedlings produced 4 to 6 true leaves 5 weeks after sowing. Seedlings were fertilized with 20-10-20 liquid NPK at 100 ppm during the growing season. Uniform irrigation can be difficult because of the large leaves of this species; containers must be frquently checked for moisture content. Seedlings were fully root tight in 160 ml conetainers 90 days after sowing. Plants were moved to the outdoor nursery and up-potted to 800 ml square containers containing Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P205:13K20; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21 C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 800 ml container.
Plants were fully root tight in the 800 ml containers by the end of the growing season.
Outdoor temperatures in the nursery range from 18 to 25C during the day and 15C at night.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 20 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm during September. Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants are given one final irrigation prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 8 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 7 months
Harvest Date: September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 20 weeks
Other Comments: The leaves,stems and berries are browsed by deer and bears. The berries are an important food source to many species of birds and small mammals.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, University of Washington Press, 7th Printing, 1981.
Seeds:Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination,Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
Seeds of the Woody Plants of North America, Young and Young, Dioscorides Press, 1992.
Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, Hassell, N.P.S and N.R.C.S.,1996.
Glacier National Park Propagation Records, unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Corey, Susan; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Rubus parviflorus Nutt. plants 160 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/05/11). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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