Missouri Gooseberry, Ribes  missouriense

Missouri Gooseberry

Ribes missouriense

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Spring
Hardiness Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Soil Conditions: Loam
Soil Moisture: Dry, Medium
Color: Green
Fragrance: No
Height: 2-4 feet
Spacing: 2-4 feet

Missouri Gooseberry, Ribes missouriense, also called wild gooseberry, is a dense, rounded, deciduous shrub with upright-spreading to arching stems. It typically grows to 2-4 feet tall and as wide, but may rise to as much as 6 feet. It is noted for having showy spring flowers, edible fruits, palmately lobed leaves and stout thorns. It is native to woods, woodland margins and fields.

Drooping, trumpet-shaped, greenish-white to white flowers bloom in spring (April-May). Flowers appear solitary or in small clusters of 2-3. This is a dioecious shrub that requires both male and female plants for fruit production. Pollinated female flowers give way to spherical, tart, juicy, green fruits (to ½-inch diameter) that ripen to purple in summer. Fruits may be eaten fresh off the plant or may be picked for use in juices, syrups, jellies, preserves and pies. Green, 3-5 lobed leaves (to 2 inches long) with some blunt marginal teeth may acquire attractive shades of reddish-brown to purple in fall. Thorns to ¾-inch long.

Habitats include mesic to dry open woodlands, savannas, woodland borders, thickets, powerline clearances and small meadows in wooded areas, abandoned fields, and partially shaded fence rows. Occasional disturbance is beneficial if it removes some of the overhead tree canopy.

Best grown in organically rich, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained clay or silt loams in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun, but some part afternoon shade is appreciated in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Plants may flower and fruit poorly in too much shade. Plants are best suited in locations protected from strong winds and frost pockets. Water regularly as needed to keep soils uniformly moist. Avoid overhead watering however.

 Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Edible berries, can be used in jam.
  Thorny and low growing, potential for use as a hedge.
 Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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