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wild thimbleberry blossom | by axiepics
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wild thimbleberry blossom

  

It is a dense shrub up to 2.5 m tall with canes 3-15 mm diameter, often growing in large clumps which spread through the plant's underground rhizome. Unlike most other members of the genus, it has no thorns. The leaves are palmate, 5-20 cm across, with five lobes; they are soft and fuzzy in texture. The flowers are 2-6 cm diameter, with five white petals and numerous pale yellow stamens. It produces a tart edible composite fruit 10-15 mm diameter, which ripen to a bright red in mid to late summer. Like other raspberries it is not a true berry, but instead an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a central core; the drupelets may be carefully removed separately from the core when picked, leaving a hollow fruit which bears a resemblance to a thimble, perhaps giving the plant its name; it is also said that it may get its name from the Thimble Islands in Connecticut, though it is rarely seen there.

 

The species typically grows along roadsides, railroad tracks, and in forest clearings, commonly appearing as an early part of the ecological succession in clear cut and forest fire areas.

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Taken on July 23, 2009