Shrubs of Wisconsin

Ribes cynosbati L.
eastern prickly gooseberry
Family: Grossulariaceae
shrub branch leaf spines flower fruit

Ribes cynosbati is a shrub with simple, alternate, palmately lobed leaves and spiny stems. In addition to numerous smaller thin, stiff spines scattered over the surface of the twigs there are often larger spines (up to about 1 cm) just below each node, often in sets of three per node. The density of the scattered spines is quite variable and all spines may be totally absent in the upper portions of the plant. Flowers are produced in racemes. The juicy berries also bear prickles that may appear daunting, but they are quite edible.

Ribes cynosbati is found throughout Wisconsin in a wide variety of forests from dry to wet.

known Wisconsin distribution


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