Gooseberry Family

Hillside Gooseberry © KKorbholz

Grossulariaceae (GRAW-su-lar-ee-AY-see-ee)

Iconic Features

    • Shrubs with clustered, palmate leaves
    • Pendant flowers with petal-like sepals
    • Fruit a berry

    Description (Jepson)

      • Plants are shrubs, usually deciduous
      • Eudicotyledons (eudicots) – a major lineage of flowering plants including most plants traditionally described as dicots and generally characterized by
        • 2 seed leaves (dicotyledon)
        • Netted (reticulate) leaf venation
        • Flower parts in fours and fives
        • Pollen grains with 3 pores (tricolpate)
        • Vascular bundles in stem arranged in a ring
        • Taproot system
      • Divided into 2 major groups
        • Gooseberries have spines
        • Currants lack spines
      • Leaves
        • Simple (not divided into leaflets); usually palmately lobed (lobes radiating from a single point)
        • Alternate (1 leaf at each junction with stem) and generally clustered
      • Flowers
        • Inflorescence (flower arrangement) a usually pendent raceme (unbranched stem with stalked flowers opening from the bottom up), at the leaf axil (branching point)
        • Bisexual, radially symmetrical flowers
        • Sepals (usually green, outer flower parts), petals, and stamen (male flower parts) fused at base into a cup-like structure (hypanthium)
        • Ovary inferior (below the attachment of other flower parts)
      • Fruit a translucent berry (a usually multi-seeded fruit with a fleshy ovary wall), some with spines, often used in cooking and baking

      Notes

        • Family of a single genus (Ribes)
          • Consists of approximately 120 species of gooseberries and currants
          • Found in the northern hemisphere and temperate South America
        • Scientific name from the former genus Grossularia (now included in the genus Ribes), from the French groseille, “gooseberry”
        • Represented by 4 species at Edgewood

        See General References

        Browse Some Edgewood Plants in this Family