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Ribes uva-crispa - L.
                 
Common Name Gooseberry, European gooseberry
Family Grossulariaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards The fresh leaves contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide, though details of quantities are not given[240]. This substance is found in several foods, including almonds. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Habitats Woods and hedges, often by streams[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa, Italy and the Caucasus.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary

Ribes uva-crispa Gooseberry, European gooseberry


Ribes uva-crispa Gooseberry, European gooseberry
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Ribes uva-crispa is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Mar to May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; North Wall. By. East Wall. By.
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 2, 5, 7, 61]. The fruit is often picked when under-ripe and very firm, it has a very tart flavour at this time and is mainly used in making pies, jams etc. However, if the fruit is allowed to remain on the plant until it is fully ripe and soft it becomes quite sweet and is delicious for eating out of hand[K]. The fruit of the wild species is often less than 1cm in diameter, but named cultivars have considerably larger fruits up to 3cm in diameter[K]. Leaves- raw. The young and tender leaves can be eaten in salads[4]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Laxative;  Miscellany.

The fruit is laxative[7]. Stewed unripe gooseberries are used as a spring tonic to cleanse the system[4]. The leaves have been used in the treatment of gravel[4]. An infusion taken before the monthly periods is said to be a useful tonic for growing girls[4]. The leaves contain tannin and have been used as an astringent to treat dysentery and wounds[7].
Other Uses
Cosmetic;  Miscellany.

The fruit pulp is used cosmetically in face-masks for its cleansing effect on greasy skins[7].
Cultivation details
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality[11, 200]. Growth is often poor in light soils, whilst heavy soils encourage soft growth and excess vigour[200]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 6.5[200], though it can grow well in more acid or alkaline soils[K]. It is important to add plenty of humus to chalky soil[K]. Plants are quite tolerant of shade though do not fruit so well in such a position[11]. They can be grown against east or north facing walls[37]. The fruit of plants on north facing walls will ripen later, thus extending the fruiting season, though yields will be lower[K]. Plants dislike very hot weather[37]. Dormant plants are hardy to about -20°c[200], but the flowers and young fruits are susceptible to frost damage Plants are very susceptible to potash deficiency[1], especially when grown on alkaline soils[K]. Gooseberries are commonly cultivated in temperate regions for their edible fruit, there are many named varieties[183, 200]. Birds love the fruit and so some protection is often required, especially if the fruit is being grown to full ripeness[K]. Plants grow best in cool moist climates such as N. Europe[200]. Plants fruit best on one and two year old wood so any pruning should be to encourage vigorous new shoots[200]. Plants can harbour a stage of white pine blister rust, so should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees[155]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].
Propagation
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification at between 0 and 5°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible[113, 164]. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 - 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[78, 113]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year's growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors[78, 200].
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Rheum ribes 20
Ribes aciculare 30
Ribes alpinumAlpine Currant30
Ribes altissimum 30
Ribes ambiguum 20
Ribes americanumAmerican Blackcurrant21
Ribes aureumGolden Currant41
Ribes bracteosumStink Currant21
Ribes burejense 40
Ribes californicumHillside Gooseberry20
Ribes cereumWax Currant21
Ribes curvatumGranite gooseberry30
Ribes cynosbatiDogberry, Eastern prickly gooseberry31
Ribes diacanthumSiberian currant20
Ribes distans 20
Ribes divaricatumCoastal Black Gooseberry, Spreading gooseberry, Parish's gooseberry, Straggly gooseberry41
Ribes fasciculatum 10
Ribes fragrans 30
Ribes gayanum 30
Ribes glaciale 20
Ribes glandulosumSkunk Currant21
Ribes griffithii 20
Ribes himalense 31
Ribes hirtellumCurrant-Gooseberry, Hairystem gooseberry30
Ribes horridum 30
Ribes hudsonianumHudson Bay Currant, Northern black currant, Western black currant21
Ribes inebriansWhisky Currant21
Ribes inermeWhitestem Gooseberry, Klamath gooseberry20
Ribes irriguumIdaho Gooseberry21
Ribes janczewskii 30
123
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Expert comment
 
Author
L.
Botanical References
1117200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Dr. Tom Beatty,DD,BFHM Wed Aug 26 2009
Why is Ribes Grossularia not documented on this site?
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Subject : Ribes uva-crispa  
 

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