Short Summary

Garber Park is a 13-acre wildland park owned by the City of Oakland located behind the Claremont Hotel in Claremont Canyon. Garber Park is home to significant stands of big-leaf maple, California buckeyes and regenerating coast live oak woodland and forest. The Garber Park Stewards vision is to safeguard the native wildland resources of Garber Park while reducing the risk of wildfire and improving the trail system.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Thimbleberry (Rubus Parviflorus) 
Although in July in Garber Park we are as likely to see the berry as the flower, we wanted to call attention in mid-summer to one of the delightful berry blossoms that may be found in the wetlands on the lower portion of the loop trail.  Thimblerry (Rubus parviflorus) occurs in many spots in the East Bay ridge lands, but has not been reported elsewhere in the bay counties.  Garber Park's Thimbleberries are dense thickets where the ground is seeping water from the springs upslope. Some commentators suggest that the first habitat in which to expect Thimbleberries is a Coast Redwood Forest, especially Muir Woods, but it seems that many riparian wetlands attract them.

The bright red berry of the Thimbleberry.  We hope to collect
these seeds and disperse them at Bob's Place at our
Seed Collection Workshop on August 20.
Thimbleberry is a good shrub for wildlife providing cover in thickets and food for birds and mammals.  The flower provides nectar for hummingbirds.

And, for those Ethnobotany fans indigenous cultures had many uses for Thimbleberry, from making soap to lining baskets,  and even as a remedy to bring down swelling.  For more on the Thimbleberry and its many uses click here.

Next time you walk the entire loop, look for Thimbleberry.  When you find it you will be looking back in time and forward across the ridges of the East Bay.