Scientific Classification:

Kingdom Plantae
Division Gnetophyta
Class Gnetopsida
Order Saxifragales
Family Grossulariaceae
Genus Ribes
Species R.grossularia
Binomial name Ribes grossularia

Other Common Names:

The other common names for the shrug gooseberry are Stachelbeere,Groseille a Maquereaux, Uva Spina, Stekbes, Fea, Feverberry, Feabes, Carberry, Groseille, Grozet, Groser, Krusbaar,Deberries,Goosegogs,Honeyblobs,Feaberry and the European gooseberry.


The European gooseberry (Ribes grossularia or Ribes uva-crispa), is a member of the currant family, or perhaps red, black and white currants are a member of the gooseberry family. They are edible when ripe and are usually sweet, flavourful and aromatic. They grow on spiny shrubs and some varieties sometimes sport spines as well. Gooseberries popularly called grossularia, are native to the Old World and have long been cultivated for fruit. In Europe the large-fruited cultivated gooseberries became naturalized. Grossularia do not prosper in the United States, because they are susceptible to mildews and rusts.

Because they provide an alternate host for the white-pine blister rust, it is illegal to grow grossularia in some states where white pine is an important resource. Gooseberry production began around 1700 in Europe. Virtually all production exists in Europe and the USSR today. The term "gooseberry" is probably and evolution of the German "Jansbeere", meaning "John's berry" because it's ripening period coincided with the Feast of Saint John. Alternatively, the French word for currant "Groseille" which derives from the Latin epithet for the species may have been mispronounced/misspelled to yield "gooseberry".


Gooseberries are erect deciduous shrub with arching branches 4 to 9 feet tall. Stout spines create cover for wildlife, edible berries provide food; a very good hedgerow plant.Flowers from March to May; sepals are red to purple, with recurved lobes two to three times longer thatn the tube.The bark on older stems often shreds or splits to reveal different-colored underlayers. Leaves and inflorescences mostly arise from short shoots. The plants are deciduous in almost all species but in mild climates may be leafless for only a short while. The leaves range from roundish to reniform or are palmately lobed and pentangular, with margins cut to various degrees and mostly toothed or cut again.

Degree of lobing in the species descriptions is given as depth of the two most distal sinuses.Petals are red to white, and pistils and stamens exend beyond the petals. The fruit, borne singly or in pairs at the axils, is a berry with many minute seeds at the centre.A gooseberry may be green, white (gray-green), yellow, or shades of red from pink to purple to almost black.Gooseberries produce flowers on one-year-old shoots with the inflorescences containing one to three flower buds. Gooseberries are self-fertile and do not require pollination, however, greater yields can be produced if the flowers are cross- pollinated.


The Ribes grossularia are predominantly found in the Northern Hemisphere and is native to Caucasus Mountains and North Africa.Most of the member of the ribes family are native in the flora area.


Habitats include mesic to dry open woodlands, savannas, woodland borders, thickets, powerline clearances and small meadows in wooded areas, abandoned fields, and partially shaded fence rows.Thus their native habitat is the open woods, prairies, and moist hillsides; but some can be found along the banks of streams, in thickets at the edge of meadows, and open or wooded mountain ridges.


Cultivating cape gooseberry requires plenty of planning and since the plant is grown in different parts of the world, it is important to decide on the time to plant this herb in individual regions depending on the climatic conditions prevailing there.Gooseberries grow best in soil with a pH of between 5.5 and 7.0. The spacing between plants should be three to four feet (1.0 to 1.25 m) and between row spacing can be as close as 6.5 ft (2 m) but a spacing of eight to nine feet (2.4 to 2.7 m) is preferred. Gooseberries are shallow-rooted with the roots primarily located in the top eight to 16 in. (20 to 40 cm) of the soil. Gooseberries are propagated from hardwood cuttings in mid October, choosing well ripened shoots 20-23cm (8-gin) long. The lower buds are removed to prevent suckers from forming. The prepared cuttings are planted l0cm (4in) deep in a slit trench with sand or grit in the bottom.Standard gooseberries are formed by grafting scions on to Ribes rootstocks with stems of the required height.

Flowering Season

Generally the flowering season for this variety is in early spring.

Pests and Diseases

Aphids commonly attack young leaves, distorting them. Spider mites are common in summer; spray immediately after harvest and thereafter on a regular schedule. The clear-winged borer lays its eggs on stems in April.Borers will spread and generally causes loss of whole planting without quick control. Cut out affected stems, search for others and spray.Ribes species are host for White Pine blister rust, which causes few problems for gooseberry.Botrytis and Anthracnose can cause rot of leaves and loss of young growth, particularly stems lying on the ground or splashed during irrigation.

Parts Used


The fruits and the leaves are the most commonly used parts of gooseberry for its medicinal and commercial applications.

Medicinal Applications


• The juice was formerly said to 'cure all inflammations.

• The light jelly made from the red berries is valuable for sedentary, plethoric, and bilious subjects.

• The leaves were formerly considered very wholesome and a corrective of gravel. An infusion taken before the monthly period will be found a useful tonic for growing girls.

• They were said to be conducive to good appetite and a remedy for catarrh.

• Cooked gooseberries are used for treating fever and for seizures of malaria marked by paroxysms of chills, fever and sweating recurring at regular intervals.

• For women incurring uterine difficulties after a number of births, a root tea from the prickly gooseberry helps.

• Gooseberry tea was used to cure canker sores and for mouthwash.

Commercial Applications


• The yellow gooseberries have usually the richest flavour for dessert, and the best wine made from them very closely resembles champagne.

• The red are generally the most acid, supporting the fact that acids change vegetable blues to red.

• The fruit is used for tarts, pies, sauces, chutneys, jams, and dessert, also for preserving in bottles for winter use.

• The young and tender leaves are eaten in salads.

• Gooseberries add colour and flavour to dishes, generally having a tart "acid punch".

• Gooseberries can be used for meat accompaniments or in foul stuffing.


The astro reports for the shrub gooseberry says that the plant is under the dominion of the planet Mars.

Folklores and Myths

To dream of gathering gooseberries, are a sign of happiness after trouble, and a favourable indication of brighter prospects in one's business affairs. If you are eating green gooseberries, you will make a mistake in your course to pleasure, and be precipitated into the vertex of sensationalism. Bad results are sure to follow the tasting of green gooseberries. To see gooseberries in a dream, foretells you will escape some dreaded work. For a young woman to eat them, foretells she will be slightly disappointed in her expectations. The term 'gooseberry' is also slang for a third person accompanying a couple on a date.