Ontario Trees & Shrubs website

Wild Gooseberry
Ribes hirtellum

Other common names: Low Wild Gooseberry, Smooth Gooseberry

Family: Gooseberry Family (Grossulariaceae), (Saxifrage Family (Saxifragaceae))

Group: Gooseberries

Distinctive features: Shrub; A smooth-stemmed Gooseberry, with 1-2 spines at leaf nodes, and smooth-skinned fruit (no prickles).

Similar species:
  •   Bristly Wild Gooseberry (Ribes oxyacanthoides) - stem covered with numerous soft prickles, with a few stouter prickles at leaf nodes.

  •   Prickly Gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati) - stems smooth, with 1-2 spines at leaf nodes, berries lack prickles.

Flowers: Spring;  Green/Brown;  5 parts (petals)

Leaves: Alternate, Simple, Toothed;  Alternate, simple.

Fruit/Seeds: Smooth-skinned.

Habitat: Forests;  Open forests.

Edible: Fruits are edible.

Books: Shrubs of Ontario: 139    Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 306   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Common.

Photographs: 43 photographs available, of which 7 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Wild Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum)

Wild Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum)

Fruits forming. Note they are smooth (no prickles). The berries are edible.

Wild Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum)

The fruit on the right is riper (darker).

Wild Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum)

Upper side of the leaf.

Wild Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum)

Underside of a leaf.

Wild Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum)

Fresh leaves at the top of a growing shoot.

Wild Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum)

The smooth stem.

Range map for Wild Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)