Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Eastern Prickly Gooseberry, Pasture Gooseberry, Dog Berry
Ribes cynosbati

Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes (RYE-bees) (Info)
Species: cynosbati (sigh-nos-BAT-ee) (Info)

Synonym:Grossularia cynosbati

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By simple layering
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By PaulRobinson
Thumbnail #1 of Ribes cynosbati by PaulRobinson

By OhioBreezy
Thumbnail #2 of Ribes cynosbati by OhioBreezy

By Lamiaceae
Thumbnail #3 of Ribes cynosbati by Lamiaceae


4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive GunZ_McGraw On Apr 21, 2009, GunZ_McGraw from Millgrove
Canada wrote:

Great plant! One turned into six through simple layering. Fruit is pale/ lime green with vertical bands. Firm, smooth and about the size of a marble. Turns maroon as it ripens. Young fruit tart. Sweeter with colour. Japanese Beetles decimate my roses 10 feet away but never touch my Gosseberry. The spines on the branches are very sharp. Ouch! I have used them in pies.
One-half cup of fresh gooseberries contains 34 calories; the berry is high in Vitamin C and contains potassium, Vitamins B1, B2 and A.

Positive Malus2006 On Feb 18, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Interesting plant, indeed! I have two - orignally one plant but one was naturally rooted from a cutting and then separated from the parent plant - both plants are in woodland shade, growing happily but never product a single fruit. This species have loads of spines so would have been a good security plant as the spines varies. I dug it from the wild some years ago since it was a shrub growing in shade - I wanted as natural a shade garden as possible. It thrives well in shade but of course can be a bit pain to trim (chuckles). It is a well behaving plant in shade, never sending shoots away from the parent plant.

Positive Lamiaceae On Jul 14, 2006, Lamiaceae from Granville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This small (3') shrub is native to woodlands of the eastern US. I'm currently trying it out in the fruit garden, and I'm quite pleased with the results. The fruit is round, generally about 15 mm in diameter (can be larger or smaller depending on how many are on a bush) and turns maroon when ripe. They are covered with small, sharp prickles; this makes them difficult to eat out-of-hand, so they are perhaps best cooked down for jelly, etc. Their flavor is a bit like kiwifruit, but not exactly.

Unfortunately, the plant is a favorite of Japanese Beetles.

Positive OhioBreezy On Jun 2, 2004, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Grows well here, produces lucious berries, which the birds do love to sneak before we get them! Easy to maintain, just prune out the old branches.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Jacksonville, Illinois
Moline, Illinois
Crothersville, Indiana
Minneapolis, Minnesota
West Kill, New York
Dundee, Ohio
Granville, Ohio
East Burke, Vermont
Colville, Washington

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