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Grossulariaceae: Gooseberry Family Plant Identification Characteristics.

Grossulariaceae
Plants of the Gooseberry Family

      I remember as a child when I went with Mom and Dad down to the field by Grandma's house to collect gooseberries. We placed tarps under the bushes and beat the berries out with a stick. At home Mom floated away the leaves and made delicious gooseberry pie and jam.

      The gooseberries and currants have regular, bisexual flowers, usually about 1/4inch in diameter. The blossoms are yellow, white, greenish or sometimes red. The flowers have 5 united sepals and 5 separate petals (rarely 4 of each). There are 5 stamens, alternate with the petals. The ovary is positioned either superior or inferior and consists of 2 united carpels (bicarpellate) forming a single chamber. It matures as a berry with several to numerous seeds.

      As you become familiar with these shrubs, you will recognize them by their distinctive leaves alone. Note that ninebark (Physocarpus) of the Rose Family has very similar leaves. Worldwide, there is only 1 genus consisting of 150 species of gooseberries and currants.

Key Words: Bushes with palmate leaves. Translucent berries with attached sepals.

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Ribes cereum. Desert Currant.

Ribes cereum. Desert Currant.

Ribes cereum. Currants.

Ribes cereum. Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, in southwest Montana.

Ribes aureum. Golden Currant.

Ribes aureum. Golden Currant.

Ribes aureum. Golden Currant.

Ribes aureum. Golden Currant.

Ribes americanum. American Black Currant.

Ribes americanum. American Black Currant.

Ribes americanum. American Black Currant.

Ribes americanum. American Black Currant.

Ribes hudsonianum. Northern Black Currant.

Ribes hudsonianum. Northern Black Currant.

Ribes viscosissimum. Sticky Currant.

Ribes viscosissimum. Sticky Currant.

Ribes montigenum. Gooseberry.

Ribes montigenum. Alpine Prickly Currant.

Ribes montigenum. Gooseberry.

Ribes montigenum. Alpine Prickly Currant. Seven Devils Mountains, Idaho.

Ribes setosum. Gooseberry.

Ribes setosum. Gooseberry.

Ribes setosum. Gooseberry.

Ribes setosum. Gooseberry.

There are more
Gooseberry Family pictures
at PlantSystematics.org.


Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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Botany in a Day
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Books
authored by
Thomas J. Elpel
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, andthe Blossoming of Human Spirit
Roadmap
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Living
Homes
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids
Shanleya's
Quest

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