Ribes oxycanthoides
Northern Gooseberry
Literal translation: punctured berries
Season: flower May to June, berries follow
Habitat: Moist woods, plains to montane (Kershaw, 54)
Identification: Erect to sprawling, deciduous shrub, 30-90cm tall; bristly branches, often with 1-3 spines up to 1cm long at nodes, yellowish, pale grey with age.
Leaves: Alternate, somewhat maple leaf like, with 3-5 lobes, squared or slightly heart shaped at the base, 2-4 cm wide, irregularly round toothed, usually glandular hairy beneath
Flowers: whitish to pale greenish yellow, about 8 mm long, tubular, with 5 small erect petals and 5 larger spreading sepals, 1-2 from leaf axils
Fruits: Smooth, reddish to bluish purple berries, 10-12 mm across
Use: “Punctured berries’, a wild currant, were eaten fresh or added to soups etc. They were not saved for winter use” (Hellson, 104)