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Spreading Gooseberry
Ribes divaricatum
About Spreading Gooseberry (Ribes divaricatum) Nurseries Show All Photos Ribes divaricatum is a species of currant known by several common names, including spreading gooseberry, coast black gooseberry, and wild gooseberry. It is native to the forests, woodlands, and coastal scrub of western North America from British Columbia to California. It is a shrub sometimes reaching 3 meters in height with woody branches with one to three thick brown thorns at leaf nodes. The leaves are generally palmate in shape and edged with teeth. The blades are up to 6 centimeters long and borne on petioles. The flower cluster is a small cluster of hanging flowers, each with reflexed purple-tinted green sepals and smaller, lighter petals encircling long, protruding stamens. The fruit is a berry up to a centimeter wide which is black when ripe. It is similar to Ribes lacustre and Ribes lobbi, but the former has smaller, reddish to maroon flowers and the latter has reddish flowers that resemble those of fuchsias and sticky leaves. The fruit was food for a number of Native American groups of the Pacific Northwest, and other parts of the plant, especially the bark, was used for medicinal purposes.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
5.5 - 11 ft (1.7 - 3.4 m)

Max. Width
3.3 ft (1.0 m)

Winter Deciduous

Generally palmate in shape and edged with teeth

Flower Color
Red, Pink, Purple, Green

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
3' - 10692'

Annual Precip. ?
11.8" - 117.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.17" - 3.43"

Coldest Month ?
19.5° F - 55.2° F

Hottest Month ?
45.4° F - 79.6° F

Humidity ?
0.10 vpd - 26.29 vpd

Soil Description
Moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality

Soil Texture

Soil PH
4.8 - 8.2


Wildlife Attracted
Native bees; Hummingbirds; Butterflies: Tailed Copper, Hoary Comma, Oreas Comma

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

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

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Common Names
Coast Black Gooseberry, Wild Goosebe

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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