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Gooseberries (photo courtesy of Joshua McCullough/PhytoPhoto)
Gooseberries (photo courtesy of Joshua McCullough/PhytoPhoto)

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Zone
Zones A1-A3, 1-6, 15-17
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Gooseberry


Deciduous, Edible fruit, Shrubs

Grown for its pretty, edible fruits, which are often marked with longitudinal stripes and are delicious in pies and jams. Plants are upright and multistemmed, growing to 3–5 ft. tall and wide; varieties range from thorny to nearly spineless. Lobed, somewhat maplelike leaves usually turn bright colors in fall. Fruit ripens from late spring to summer. Needs the same growing conditions as currant; prune as for red and white currants. Generally self-fruitful. Like currant, prohibited in some areas where white pines grow; check with your Cooperative Extension Office. Gooseberries are derived from several Ribes species; for strictly ornamental relatives, see Ribes.

‘Black Velvet’. Thorny, disease-resistant variety whose sweet, dark red fruit has a hint of blueberry.

‘Captivator’. Large, teardrop-shaped, sweet pink fruit on an extra-hardy, mildew-resistant, nearly thornless plant.

‘Friend’. Thornless Ukrainian variety with large, sweet pink fruit that can be eaten fresh.

‘Invicta’. Large green fruit on a thorny bush that is resistant to mildew.

‘Oregon Champion’. Bears a heavy crop of green fruit on a thorny plant.

‘Pixwell’. Extremely hardy, nearly thornless variety with tart, pink fruit.

‘Poorman’. Vigorous grower; not as thorny as most. Red fruit sweet enough to eat fresh, though skin is tart.

‘Welcome’. Bears medium-large, dull red, tart fruit on a productive, disease-resistant plant.

Jostaberry. These are disease-resistant hybrids between gooseberry and black currant. Their black fruit tastes like currants but isn’t as astringent; it makes great jams and jellies. Plants are less hardy than currants or gooseberries; they grow in Zones A3, 1–6, 15–17.

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