Ribes hirtellum, American Gooseberry
Zone
  3 (2) spp
Pollination
  partially self-fertile spp
Ripens
  3 to 4 months (cool summer) spp
pH
  5.5 to 7 is preferred spp
Yield
  2 years (clones), 3 - 5 years (seedlings). most productive on 2 to 3 year old canes. spp
Tolerant
  shade spp

American gooseberry are native to the northeastern quarter of the United States as well as Canada (from Alberta to Newfoundland).   Rainfall is generally around 3" per month during the grow season, but it can range between 2" to 4.5".   Average July highs are between 70F to 80F (21.1C to 26.7C) but may extend to 85F (29.4C) in its southwestern range.  




Ribes oxyacanthoides, Canadian Gooseberry
Zone
  3?
Pollination
  partially self-fertile spp
Ripens
  3 to 4 months (cool summer) spp
pH
  5.5 to 7 is preferred spp
Yield
  2 years (clones), 3 - 5 years (seedlings). most productive on 2 to 3 year old canes. spp
Tolerant
  shade spp

Canadian gooseberries are native throughout Canada as well as part of northern and western US (including Alaska).   Rainfall throughout most of Canada is fairly consistent around 3" per month during the grow season.

Ribes oxyacanthoides can be broken down into 5 subspecies, most of which are in the western part of the United States.   Some of them may be able to thrive in semi-arid conditions.




Ribes grossularia, European Gooseberry
Zone
  3 (2) spp
Pollination
  partially self-fertile spp
Ripens
  3 to 4 months (cool summer) spp
pH
  5.5 to 7 is preferred spp
Yield
  2 years (clones), 3 - 5 years (seedlings). most productive on 2 to 3 year old canes. spp
Tolerant
  shade spp

European gooseberries (also referred to as Ribes uva-crispa) are native to the mountainous regions Europe, Caucasus, and North Africa, but have become naturalized throughout Europe as well as eastern United States.

In much of Britain, France, and German (areas they have largely naturalized), rainfall resides around 2" to 3" per month during the grow season, with an average July high between 70F and 80F (21.1C to 26.7C).

In the United States, their naturalized areas receives 3 to 4" of rainfall per month during the grow season.   Average July highs are between 75F and 85F (23.9C to 29.4C).   Lower temperatures are not common in the area, and they struggle to survive in higher temperatures.

In North Africa, the mountainous regions have a Mediterranean climate.   Summers are very dry, but the rest of the year generally receives 2" to 4" of rainfall per month.   Their average July temperature tends to be quite hot, but there are some areas where it resides around 85F.  Regardless, this leads me to believe there is an R. grossularia subspecies that is more resistant to heat and dry conditions, but I really don't know anything about gooseberries in North Africa at this time.




Ribes spp, gooseberry
  (additional notes)
Cool summer climates are preferred.  Exposure to full sun, along with consistent temperatures around 90F or higher, can cause damage to the leaves and fruit.  This is especially true for European cultivars.  While gooseberries perform best in full sun, they do quite well in partial shade, provided there is enough air circulation to prevent disease.   Powdery mildew is one of their most common afflictions, and European gooseberries tend to be significantly more susceptible to it than American gooseberries.

Gooseberries have a unique flavor, so it is very difficult to compare to other fruit.  I have seen a few compare it to grape.  This probably has something to do with the look and texture of it, but as for flavor, I would have to say it isn't even close, at least when it comes to the ones I have tried.   I've read somewhere that the flavor is reminiscent of a combination of pineapple and kiwi.  That, to me, sounds as close as you can get.

Most gooseberry cultivars appear to be quite tart.  Some of the better cultivars may still be tart even when they look ripe, just give them a day or two and test one out again.   Mature fruit can hang on the bush for a few weeks before they become overripe.



Read More

Gooseberry
Ribes spp

Amish Red

buy
Zone
:
3
Color
:
red skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.

Black Velvet

buy
American x European hybrid
Zone
:
3
Size
:
up to 8ft tall
Color
:
dark purple skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.

Black Velvet can develop a higher level of sweetness than many others but many say that it retains its high level of acidity as well.

Captivator

buy
American x European hybrid. Developed in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (1935).
Zone
:
3a
Color
:
pink skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to white pine blister rust.   Resistant to powdery mildew.

The semi-raindrop shaped fruit have a tolerable, perhaps even enjoyable, level of acidity (it's certainly less acidic than many others).  The flesh is rather firm and crunchy.

The ripe fruit barely latches on to the plant, but it does well enough to avoid dropping on its own in any significant manner.  You may want to avoid placing the bush in windy or high traffic areas.  Alternatively, this would certainly be a beneficial trait for machine harvesting.

few thorns

Colossal

buy
Originated in Mankato, Minnesota (1974).
Zone
:
3
Size
:
1.5" berries
Color
:
green skin

Friend

buy
Originated in Ukraine.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
red skin

thornless

Glenndale

buy
R. missouriense x R. grossularia. Developed in Little Silver, New Jersey (1932).
Zone
:
3
Size
:
6ft tall
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to powdery mildew.

Glenndale was bred to tolerate more southern conditions.

Golda

buy
Whitesmith x May Duke. Developed in the Netherlands (1985).
Zone
:
3
Color
:
yellow skin (red blush)
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to white pine blister rust.

Hinnomaki Red

buy
Originated in Finland.
Zone
:
2? (3)
Color
:
dark red skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.

Hinnomaki Red is mentioned by nurseries and universities for having tart skin and sweet flesh.   Based on a few comments, I am under the impression that enough of the tartness dissipates as it ripens to become, at the very least, decent for fresh eating.

Hinnomaki Yellow

buy
European x American hybrid. Originated in Finland.
Zone
:
3
Size
:
dwarf
Color
:
yellow-green skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to white pine blister rust.   Somewhat resistant to powdery mildew.

Nurseries like to say that the flavor of Hinno Yellow is reminiscent of an apricot.   I have not seen any home-growers confirm this, so at this time, I am going to assume that it's complete nonsense.   Home-growers do mention that it has a tolerable level of acidity, and is slightly superior to, but less productive than, Hinnomaki Red.

Houghton

buy
R. grossularia x R. hirtellum. Originated in Lynn, Massachusetts (1833).
Zone
:
3
Ripens
:
late?
Size
:
1.9g/berry
Color
:
dark red skin

Invicta

buy
Zone
:
3
Blooms
:
late?   :   mentioned for being resistant to frost damage.
Ripens
:
early
Size
:
1" fruit
Color
:
green-yellow skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to white pine blister rust.   Resistant to powdery mildew.  
Susceptible to leaf spot.

There are many contradicting reports about Invicta's flavor.   Some say it's sweet and quite good, others say it's bland.   Some say it's tart.  

In 2018, I had my first crop of Invicta.   It was one of the first to ripen, about a week earlier than most others.   The flesh was mildly sweet but with good flavor, nearly identical to kiwi (also confirmed by two others).   The tartness was in the skin, so you could easily avoid it, especially due to its large size.   Altogether, it was less acidic and more enjoyable than many other gooseberry cultivars, but as I have implied, it does not have that unique gooseberry flavor.

Jeanne

buy
"American x European hybrid. Introduced in Corvallis, Oregon (2006).
Zone
:
3
Blooms
:
late
Ripens
:
mid-late? (mid)
Size
:
dwarf (3ft tall)
Color
:
dark red skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to white pine blister rust.   Resistant to powdery mildew.

Jeanne is a promising variety.   A few descriptions have caused me to suspect that it develops a sweet, low acid flavor.

Jewel

buy
Originated in Poland.
Zone
:
3
Size
:
dwarf
Color
:
peach skin

Oregon Champion

buy
Crown Bob x Houghton. Originated in Salem, Oregon (1876).
Zone
:
3
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Size
:
5ft tall
Color
:
green-yellow skin
Afflictions
:
Somewhat susceptible to powdery mildew.

tart

Pixwell

buy
R. hirtellum (American) x Oregon Champion. Originated in North Dakota.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
pink skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to white pine blister rust.   Resistant to powdery mildew.

Pixwell produces ornamental purple leaves in the fall.   Descriptions of the flavor are fairly contradicting.   Some say it's tart, others claim it's sweet.   This could be the result of mislabeling or some harvesting too early.   Considering some nurseries claim it's tart, I'm going to assume it's generally tart (they tend to over-exaggerate sweetness).

few thorns

Poorman

buy
Selected in Brigham City, Utah (1890).
Zone
:
3
Color
:
red skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to white pine blister rust.   Resistant to powdery mildew and gray mold.

Poorman is popular for having an excellent, sweet, low acid flavor when fully ripe, but it suffers from low productivity for many.  

few thorns

Red George

buy
Originated in Ukraine.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
black-green skin

Sabine

buy
Originated in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
pink skin or red skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to white pine blister rust.   Resistant to powdery mildew.

few thorns

Tixia

buy
Zone
:
3
Color
:
dark red skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to powdery mildew.

tart

Welcome

buy
Originated in Minnesota (1957).
Zone
:
2? (3)
Color
:
red skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.

few thorns

Canadian Gooseberry
Ribes oxyacanthoides

Jahn's Prairie

buy
Selected in Alberta, Canada (1984).
Zone
:
3
Ripens
:
late
Size
:
5ft tall, 3.8g/berry
Color
:
red skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to white pine blister rust.   Resistant to powdery mildew, gray mold, and leaf spot.   Resistant to sawfly?

The few partially shaded Jahn's Prairie I tried in 2018 were the last to ripen, about 2-3 weeks after the other gooseberries. It had a decent balance of sweet and tart. I may have had some in full sun as well (possibly a mislabel, I'll have to look into this later). They looked ripe and were starting to be attacked by fruit flies a few weeks earlier, but they were generally more tart and less enjoyable.

There is one thorn, around 0.6" long, located underneath each node.

European Gooseberry
Ribes grossularia

Careless

buy
Zone
:
3
Color
:
yellow-green skin

Careless supposedly produces better quality berries in the US, implying that it requires more heat to ripen properly (most of Europe has a cool summer climate, and most of the US has a hot summer climate).

Early Sulphur

buy
Originated in Britian.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
yellow skin

Greenfinch

buy
Introduced in England (1984).
Zone
:
3
Color
:
green-yellow skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.

Keepsake

buy
Zone
:
3
Color
:
green-red skin

Lepaa Red

buy
Originated in Piikkio, Finland.
Zone
:
3
Ripens
:
late?
Size
:
2.8g/berry
Color
:
red skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to powdery mildew.

tart

Leveller

buy
Developed in England (1851).
Zone
:
3
Color
:
yellow skin
Afflictions
:
Very susceptible to powdery mildew?

Speedwell

buy
Zone
:
3
Color
:
red skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust.

Whinham's Industry

buy
Originated in Britain.
Zone
:
3

Whitesmith

buy
Originated in England (1824).
Zone
:
3
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to white pine blister rust.