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Hillside Gooseberry
Ribes californicum
About Hillside Gooseberry (Ribes californicum) Nurseries Show All Photos Hillside Gooseberry (Ribes californicum) is a native shrub in the Grossulariaceae (Currant or Gooseberry) family that grows along the coast and in the coastal mountains from Mendocino County in the north to Orange County in the south. There are two recognized Varieties: Var. californicum is found primarily in the Coast Ranges while var. hesperium is found in the southernmost part of the range. It tends to grow in moist places, at elevations from sea level to nearly 6,000 feet. It has spines so keep this in mind when deciding where to plant it. The flowers and berries make it a valuable wildlife plant. The berries are edible but best left to the birds.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3 - 8 ft (0.9 - 2.4 m)

Max. Width
2 - 6 ft (0.6 - 1.8 m)

Summer Deciduous, Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Pink, Purple, Yellow

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Canyons, stream sides, and similar places in the Coast Ranges and Transverse Range

Part Shade

Elevation ?
-3' - 7465'

Annual Precip. ?
4.8" - 83.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 2.08"

Coldest Month ?
32.2° F - 56.0° F

Hottest Month ?
51.3° F - 80.4° F

Humidity ?
0.23 vpd - 34.85 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates sandy soil

Soil PH
5.4 - 7.3

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Wildlife Attracted
The flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds. Plants in the Ribes genus are host to several butterfly species including the Tailed Copper, Hoary Comma and Oreas Comma.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
2x/month, 1/week
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
Easily started from cuttings taken in late winter

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
California Gooseberry

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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