Elsewhere, however, state laws may forbid the cultivation of gooseberries and currants. A small, rounded shrub, branches densely prickly. It is generally armed with simple reddish or black slender spines along the stem. Filed Under: Berries and Fruits, Featured, Foraging, How-To (DIY stuff) Tagged With: berries and fruits, Foraging, gooseberries and currants. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. The fruits of Prickly Gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati) and other Ribes spp. A pleasant sub-acid flavour[46], good for quenching thirst, they also make excellent pies, jellies and preserves[183]. Here are the others: Occurs on ledges and in crevices of shaded, north-facing bluffs; usually grows on calcareous substrates. In the autumn, gooseberry bushes catch and hold dead leaves in their low-lying branches, giving good cover for the soil and for various kinds of small animals. Cooking softens the spines and lets you get at the delicious pulp within, which tastes brightly acidic and a little sweet. Twigs are slender, at first tan to brown and hairy, later gray to almost black and smooth; spines slender, solitary or in groups of 2 or 3, straight, to ¾ inch long; young twigs often with numerous, slender reddish or black spines. A gooseberry[161]. It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. In spite of the prickles, this fruit is indeed edible. My favorite way to eat them is to stir together mascarpone cheese with dark wildflower honey until combined, then fold in the gooseberries. Edible wild berries and fruit are some of the most rewarding things to find when you’re out foraging wild edible plants. Thorny. Blackberry and prickly gooseberry are two examples of fruiting vines that exhibit thorns. Cucumis myriocarpus, the gooseberry cucumber, gooseberry gourd, paddy melon, Mallee Pear or prickly paddy melon is a prostrate or climbing annual herb native to tropical and southern Africa. Hi, thanks for stopping by. Strain again through a fine-meshed strainer with a piece of paper towel set inside. Copious small blooms for pollinators. Creates a wide, roundish form. Wild Prickly Gooseberry Seeds (Ribes cynosbati) 10+ Michigan Prickly Gooseberry Seeds in FROZEN SEED CAPSULES for The Gardener & Rare Seeds Collector, Plant Seeds Now or Save Seeds for Years by Frozen Seed Capsules. Fortunately they grow pretty much everywhere on our continent, other than deserts… and there are even a few species that do thrive in arid regions. Cinquefoil, shrubby (Potentilla fruticosa) This superb small landscape shrub is found in wet, open sites, though it prospers under many conditions. Gray comma butterfly caterpillars eat gooseberry leaves; the early stages feed on the undersides of the leaves, so it’s harder to see them. It will also make a wonderful jelly. All in all, though, the Sierra currant is a dud. It grows great along the coast in shade or full sun. They tasted very delicious, they were dark purple. This is the fruit of Prickly Gooseberry. The inner layer of bark is reddish brown or purplish, smooth, with numerous light-colored pores. Prickly gooseberry occurs mostly in the eastern half of Missouri. Definitely edible, so long as you take the brown corpse of the flower off the end of the berry. This juice will store in the fridge for a week or so, as-is. Small, fragrant flowers in April-May, greenish-white. But in general, look for hills and mountains, cool(ish) climates and moisture. As a spring-flowering shrub, gooseberry is an important nectar source for insects that are active in early spring. When you’re picking gooseberries, part of the stem usually pulls off with the berry; plus, a little dried “point” usually remains on the other end of the berry (it’s what’s left of the flower). Now by now you might have noticed that wild gooseberries — especially these Sierra gooseberries above — are not the friendliest of fruits. Fruit/Seeds: Fruit covered with prickles. Wild Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum) These are fruits of the Wild Gooseberry. We love making syrups with the fruit. Ah, the gooseberry, an unloved berry if there ever was one — especially here in North America. Unlike roots and greens, wild berries and fruits often don’t require preparation and cooking. That little tail is perfectly edible, but you might want to remove it for fancy preparations. Cape Gooseberry. Nasty, spiky, prickly things that will impale your hands without a second thought. Damn good. The aroma is weirdly similar to like Sweet Tarts candy. Hey there. However, the taste of these fruits is superb - tart and sweet. The purple berries of this plant are always prickly, however. Birds that eat berries, including gooseberries, include catbirds, thrashers, robins, and waxwings. If it is not too gritty, you can mix it with a thickener like tapioca and make it into a pie filling. © 2020 Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, All Rights Reserved. Many say the fruits are best picked when they’re still green and have the punchiest sour flavor. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet's largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. They are worth growing! Edible: Fruit is edible right off the plant and made into jams and preserves. Here’s what you need to know to gather ye gooseberries in style. The best way I’ve found to eat the prickly wild gooseberries is to cook them with a little water, smash the berries and strain the resulting pulp. Shrubs are less than 13 feet tall, with multiple stems. The sediment at the bottom will be tan, the juice varying degrees of red or purple -- if you are using ripe gooseberries. Other people prefer the ripe reddish or purplish berries, which lack the tangy tartness. Gooseberry definition, the edible, acid, globular, sometimes spiny fruit of certain prickly shrubs belonging to the genus Ribes, of the saxifrage family, especially R. uva-crispa (or R. grossularia). The juice makes an excellent sorbet or syrup to … All currants and gooseberries have leaves that pretty much look like this. The pulp left behind can, it is said, be used as a pie filling, although I’ve never done that. Then there is the leaf. The fruit can also be dried for later use[257]. ... Fruit: Covered in prickles which are soft, so still quite edible, taste is OK. Green when unripe, a reddish purple color when ripe - the color is very much like that of a Red Grape. [9] Fruit size is the clearest identifying factor. Gooseberries are a favorite fruit for pies, cobblers, jams, and jellies. Since they are so tart, I love them with some sugar or honey and something dairy. Barely cover the berries with water, cover the pot and bring to a boil. I do this mostly with Sierra gooseberries, but you can use this method with any other gooseberries, too. A pleasant sub-acid flavour, good for quenching thirst, they also make excellent pies, jellies and preserves. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. The one on the right is much riper than the one on the left. Trunk has the outer bark thin, papery, tan to brown, with spines (modified leaf stalks) and few to many recurved prickles (prickles that bend away and back; these are outgrowths of the bark).

Already a Member? The wood is hard, fine-grained, white, with a dark pith. Wash your berries well and put the Sierra gooseberries into a large pot. Habitat: Forests; Open forests. The taste was floral and perfumey. Fruit is deep purple, and edible, but prickly. I’d happily eat it as a trail nibble, or if I were in trouble, but I will not be picking them again. “Wood” is a type of tissue made of cellulose and lignin that many plants develop as they mature — whether they are “woody” or not. The fact that people gladly do this labor attests to how much they enjoy the flavor of gooseberries. are an attractive source of food to many songbirds and upland gamebirds (see Bird Table). 1.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating. This will leave you with clear juice. It is generally armed with simple reddish or black slender spines along the stem. In addition to numerous smaller thin, stiff spines scattered over the surface of the twigs there are often larger spines (up to about 1 cm) just below each node, often in sets of three per node. Many birds and mammals relish the fruits of gooseberry, despite the thorny stems. Well, they do exist, and they are well worth your effort to hunt them up. The maple-like leaves of gooseberries and their cousins the currants are very similar across all species. Despite the prickles, they are edible. Missouri Gooseberry (Ribes missouriense) is most similar in habitat and prickliness, but has more slender flowers with very long stamens, and lacks glandular hairs on leaf surfaces and stalks. Flowers April–June, single or in clusters of 2–4; the stalk bearing the flower clusters is ¼–1¼ inches long, lacking joints, hairs present, sometimes gland-tipped; petals 5, yellowish green; stamens 5, barely showing beyond the petals. These species have high wildlife value as well, with fruit eaten by a … Many types of bees, flies, butterflies (notably the brown elfin), moths (notably hummingbird and clearwing moths), and wasps visit the flowers for nectar, pollen, or both. Despite the prickles, they are edible. Globally, there are about 150 species in genus Ribes, and they are often divided (in an oversimplified way) into “currants” (with jointed flower stalks) and “gooseberries” (with unjointed flower stalks). Vines require support or else sprawl over the ground. Berry bushes with thorns are designed to protect the berries. Even hummingbirds may be seen visiting gooseberry flowers for nectar. Numerous cultivated strains of currants and gooseberries have been developed by plant breeders. If your gooseberries don’t look like little Sputnik satellites, you can just eat them. Santa Lucia gooseberry has spiny purple fruits. Its spine-covered berries turn reddish purple when ripe. Leaves are simple, alternate or clustered, 1–2 inches long or wide, overall shape is round to broadly egg-shaped, the base cut back sharply to slightly rounded, the margin with 3 or 5 lobes, lobes with teeth rounded to pointed; both surfaces hairy; undersurface more densely hairy and paler green than above; the leaf stalk slender, ½–1 inch long, hairy. In groups of 1-3 hanging along the branch from the leaf axils. In any given recipe, green gooseberries may easily require twice as much sugar as the darker, ripe ones. Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson, Grossulariaceae (currants and gooseberries). Prickly gooseberry occurs mostly in the eastern half of Missouri. The shrubs are an alternate host of the white pine blister rust, which was unintentionally brought in from Europe around 1900. That’s the remnant of the flower, and it is another hallmark of the Ribes clan, which includes both currants and gooseberries. A little mealy, no acid to speak of, but reasonably sweet. Flowers: Spring; Green/Brown; 5 parts (petals) Leaves: Alternate, Simple, Toothed; Alternate, simple. I mean look at them! Ribes viscosissium hallii, Sticky Currant. But botanists using molecular (DNA) evidence have determined that the woody plants that used to be in the saxifrage family deserve to be split away into other families. There is at least one record from Stone County, in southwestern Missouri, as well. Gooseberries and currants, now placed in their own family (the Grossulariaceae), used to be considered part of the saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae). Groundcherry (Physalis sp.) See also American Black Current, R. americanum. Bottom line is you need to cook these. In the case of prickly gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati), even the fruits are prickly (especially when unripe), calling to mind nasty medieval weaponry. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The ovary (the swollen base of the flower, which will become the fruit) is spiny. When you are in such a region, look for spiky shrubs: A hallmark of the gooseberry clan is that they almost always have thorns all over them, on the branches and even sometimes the berries themselves. The prickly gooseberry is the only one with prickles on the fruits. Similar species: Not counting cultivated gooseberries, Missouri has 4 species in genus Ribes (pronounced RYE-beez) that may be encountered in natural habitats. Find this Pin and more on Survival... Urban or Wildernessby Betty Baker. Prickly Gooseberry is one of 10 native species of Ribes found in Minnesota in addition to the cultivated Garden Red Currant Ribes rubrum. Gooseberry (/ ˈ É¡ uː s b ɛ r i / or / ˈ É¡ uː z b ɛ r i / (American and northern British) or / ˈ É¡ ʊ z b ər i / (southern British)), is a common name for many species of Ribes (which also includes currants) and other species of plants.The berries of those in the genus Ribes (sometimes placed in the genus Grossularia) are edible and may be green, red, purple, yellow, white, or black. It is a low, straggly shrub with rigid, spreading or trailing branches. Known also as the Dogberry and Pasture Gooseberry. Memorize the shape of this leaf and you will start seeing it everywhere. Occurs mostly in the eastern half of the state. Eastern Prickly Gooseberry • 2 to 5 feet tall. Like rhubarb, gooseberries can have an intensely tart flavor that, most people agree, requires plenty of sugar to balance. Dogberry; Wild Gooseberry; Eastern Prickly Gooseberry, Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. Excellent for a hedge, boundary, or fruiting thicket. Henry David Thoreau called highbush cranberries "tree cranberries" and wrote that they were "equal to the common cranberry" when stewed with sugar. It is in flower from April to May. ... Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa) Grape (Vitus sp.) Gooseberries set flowers and fruit in a line underneath the branches. As for the sediment, taste it. Fall color can be beautiful - yellow, orange, red, purple. Many species of gooseberries and currants have been the subject of an aggressive eradication campaign in parts of the country where white pine grows and is harvested for lumber. By Hank Shaw on July 29, 2013, Updated November 6, 2020 - 38 Comments. Despite the prickles on the berries, they are attractive to many birds, including Catbird, Robin, Brown Thrasher, and Cedar Waxwing. Thorny Vines. People brave its prickly stems to collect its tart, tasty fruits to make pies, jams, and jellies. The juice makes an excellent sorbet or syrup to use in cold drinks. When flowering or fruiting, Prickly Gooseberry is easily distinguished by the hairy ovary that becomes prickly fruit. The syrup lasts months in the fridge. Fruits July–September, reddish purple, globe-shaped, ¼–½ inch in diameter, armed with long stiff prickles; seeds 10–20, dark brown. COMMENT: Fruit - raw or cooked. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook. Another way to cope with this task is to simmer the berries, then run them through a sieve or food mill to remove the seeds and stems.