Ribes rotundifolium Michx.

Appalachian gooseberry

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Appalachian gooseberry is a native species of rich, rocky woodlands. It resembles Missouri gooseberry, another currant that grows on rich soils, but its prickles are shorter, and its greenish-yellow flowers are smaller, with a green-purple (as opposed to white) hypanthium. The flowers, blooming in April and May, are visited by bees and hummingbirds, and its fruits are eaten by a variety of birds and mammals.

Habitat

Forests, talus and rocky slopes

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
Growth form
the plant is a shrub (i.e., a woody plant with several stems growing from the base)
Leaf type
the leaf blade is simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaves per node
there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
Leaf duration
the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
armature on plant
the plant has spines, prickles, or thorns
Leaf blade length
15–50 mm
Leaf blade width
20–50 mm
Leaf stalk
the leaves have leaf stalks
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is fleshy
Bark texture
  • the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
  • the bark of an adult plant peels off easily or hangs off
Twig winter color
  • brown
  • gray
  • purple
  • red
Bud scale number
there are three or more scales on the winter bud, and they overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed
Show All Characteristics
  • Buds or leaf scars
    Bud scale number
    there are three or more scales on the winter bud, and they overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed
    Bud scar shape (Fraxinus)
    NA
    Collateral buds
    there are no collateral buds on the sides of the branches
    Superposed buds
    there are no superposed buds on the branch
  • Flowers
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Enlarged sterile flowers
    there are no enlarged sterile flowers on the plant
    Flower petal color
    • white
    • yellow or green
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Hairs on ovary (Amelanchier)
    NA
    Hypanthium present
    the flower has a hypanthium
    Inflorescence type
    • the inflorescence has only one flower on it
    • the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
    Number of pistils
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is below the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal fusion
    the perianth parts are separate
    Sepal cilia (Ilex)
    NA
    Stamen number
    • 4
    • 5
    Stamen position relative to petals
    the stamens are lined up with the sepals (antesepalous)
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not fused to one another
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    purple
    Fruit tissue origin
    • the hypanthium of the flower becomes part of the fruit
    • there are no flower parts that form part of the fruit
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is fleshy
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a berry (fleshy, with the wall enclosing one or more sections, with two or more seeds)
    Nut with spines (Fagaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    there are no wings on the fruit
  • Glands or sap
    Sap color
    the sap is clear and watery
    Stalked glands on fruit (Rosa)
    NA
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is a shrub (i.e., a woody plant with several stems growing from the base)
  • Leaves
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf blade base shape
    • the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    • the base of the leaf blade is truncate (ends abruptly in a more or less straight line as though cut off)
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    Leaf blade edges (Acer)
    NA
    Leaf blade flatness
    the leaf is flat (planar) at the edges
    Leaf blade hairs
    • NA
    • the hairs on the leaf blade are different from the choices given
    Leaf blade length
    15–50 mm
    Leaf blade scales
    there are no scales on the leaf blades
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is obovate (egg-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the leaf blade is orbicular (roughly circular, as wide as long)
    Leaf blade texture
    the leaf blade is herbaceous (has a leafy texture)
    Leaf blade width
    20–50 mm
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf lobe tips (Quercus)
    NA
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf stalk nectaries
    there are no nectaries on the leaf stalk
    Leaf teeth
    the leaf blade margin is crenate (with rounded teeth) or crenulate (with tiny, rounded teeth)
    Leaf teeth hairs (Carya)
    NA
    Leaf type
    the leaf blade is simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • forests
    • talus or rocky slopes
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Aerial roots
    the plant has no aerial roots
    Bark texture
    • the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
    • the bark of an adult plant peels off easily or hangs off
    Branch brittleness (willows only)
    NA
    Branch cross-section
    the branch is circular in cross-section, or it has five or more sides, so that there are no sharp angles
    First-year cane (Rubus)
    NA
    Pith shape
    the outline of the pith in a twig is roughly round
    Twig papillae (Vaccinium species only)
    NA
    Twig winter color
    • brown
    • gray
    • purple
    • red
    Wings on branch
    the branch does not have wings on it
    armature on plant
    the plant has spines, prickles, or thorns

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Connecticut
unrankable (S-rank: SU), special concern (code: SC)
Massachusetts
extremely rare (uncertain) (S-rank: S1?), #NAME? (code: #NAME?)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Ribes missouriense

Synonyms

  • Grossularia rotundifolia (Michx.) Coville & Britt.
  • Ribes stamineum Hornem.
  • Ribes triflorum Willd.

Genus

Ribes

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

9.  Ribes rotundifolium Michx. NC

Appalachian gooseberry. Grossularia rotundifolia (Michx.) Coville & Britt.; Ribes stamineum Hornem.; R. triflorum Willd. • CT, MA. Deciduous forests, rocky slopes, talus.