Zone
  3 (2)
Pollination
  partially self-fertile
Ripens
  65 to 100 days (cool summer)
(from the start of the grow season)
Chill Hours
  800 - 1200
pH
  5.5 to 7 is preferred
Yield
  2 years (clones), 3 - 5 years (seedlings). most productive on 2 to 3 year old canes.
Tolerant
  shade

Native Range and Climate



American gooseberries (Ribes hirtellum) are primarily native to the warm summer continental climate (Dfb) of New England and the Great Lakes region.  The average July high within this area is generally between 75F to 80F (21.1C to 26.7C), but it may extend to 85F+ (29.4C+) in their southern range.

Canadian gooseberries (Ribes oxyacanthoides subsp.  oxyacanthoides) are native from Alaska to the Hudson Bay and south to eastern Wyoming and the Great Lakes region.  The area primarily experiences the subarctic (Dfc), warm summer continental (Dfb), and, to a lesser extent, the cold semi-arid climate (BSk).  There are four other subspecies of Ribes oxyacanthoides.  Their range lies, for the most part, in the northwestern quarter of the United States.

European gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa or Ribes grossularia) are native to the mountainous regions Europe, Caucasus, and North Africa, but they have been naturalized throughout Europe as well as the the more northern areas of the United States.

In Europe, they are commonly found in the warm summer continental (Dfb), subpolar oceanic (Cfc), and subarctic climate (Dfc).  In the United States, they have primarily naturalized in the warm summer continental climate (Dfb).[1] The average July high within both regions is generally between 70F and 80F (21.1C to 26.7C), but in warmer areas with more rain and humidity, european gooseberries struggle to survive.  In North Africa and other countries with a similar climate, such as Spain and Greece, they appear to thrive in the limited areas that experience a warm summer mediterranean climate (Csb).[1][2]


Disease



American powdery mildew (Podosphaera mors-uvae) will regularly cause significant damage to European gooseberries, with the exception of Invicta and Greenfinch, both of which are resistant.  American species, and various European hybrids, have a high level of resistance as well.

Leaf spot and pre-mature defoliation is caused by anthracnose (Drepanopeziza ribis) or septoria (Mycosphaerella ribis).  It is the primary reason why improved selections have had limited success in the northern range of the humid subtropical climate of North America (without the use of chemical control).  Due to their American parentage, most hybrid varieties have enough tolerance to survive and produce a decent crop in such an area, but only Jeanne has demonstrated a high level of resistance.  However, reports are limited and further experimentation is required, with Sabine, Amish Red, and, especially, Glendale being in greater need of it, since they "might" have additional resistance as well.

The vast majority of gooseberry varieties are quite resistant to White pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), and those that are susceptible are generally not harmed by the disease.  Unfortunately, WPBR is a serious threat to white pine species native to North America, but a small number of selections have been found to have various forms of resistance.[3] They are currently being used for selective breeding in hopes to develop trees with durable resistance.  Since the vast majority of white pines in the US are still susceptible, some states, primarily in the northeast, have banned black currants and, to a lesser extent, red currants and gooseberries, since the latter two are less susceptible to the disease.  In some cases, gooseberries are banned on a county level, and, in other cases, they may require a permit or limit your options to certain varieties.


Pests



Green larva that feed on the leaves is the only gooseberry pest I commonly see complaints about in the United States.  The gooseberry sawfly is almost exclusively blamed, but their larva generally have black spots as well.  None of those I have seen had black spots, and I have seen another, larger green larva feed on gooseberry foliage en masse.  I have also noticed gooseberry bushes in or near densely planted areas with a high bird population have practically no issue with the larva, while those outside of this range, roughly 150 feet away, are quickly defoliated.


Nutritional Values



Ascorbic acid (AA) ranged between 15.4 and 189 mg/100g FW.[4][5][6][7][8][9] However, the slight majority of the studies I have come across had results around 20 to 25 mg/100g, but it was fairly common for their values to be roughly double the amount.  Red gooseberries may, on average, develop a higher AA content than green gooseberries, but in a study that compared 20 different gooseberry varieties, the AA of the green varieties were quite different from one another and ultimately consisted of the highest and the lowest values.[6] Regardless, their results were difficult to compare to red gooseberries, since only a few were tested.

The total phenolic content (TPC) ranged between 35 and 630 mg/100g FW and had a mean low and high of 158mg and 326mg.[4][10][5][11][7][12][9][13][14] The three studies that only gave one value were also within this range (191 to 253).  The TPC of red and green gooseberries were equivalent to one another.

In one study, the total phenolic and ascorbic acid content of three gooseberry varieties were compared to multiple varieties of 11 different fruit.[7] The average TPC of gooseberry (375 mg/100g FW) was significantly higher than pear (191) and apple (256) but fairly similar to white currant (323), cherry (324), raspberry (333), strawberry (335), european plum (348), and red currant (387).  However, their TPC was significantly lower than blueberry (491), black currant (705), and blackberry (803).  The average AA content of gooseberry (57.6 mg/100g FW) was significantly higher than plum (3), blueberry (13.3), pear (18.8), cherry (21.3), and apple (23.8) but fairly similar to white currant (43.1), raspberry (64.3), and blackberry (72.5).  Their AA content was significantly lower than that of strawberry (106), red currant (110.2), and black currant (293.8).[7]
1.
2.
3.
4. Contribution of phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid and vitamin E to antioxidant activity of currant (Ribes L.) and gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L.) fruits, .
5.
6.
7.
8. Content of the Flavonols Quercetin, Myricetin, and Kaempferol in 25 Edible Berries, .
9. Variation in quality parameters between and within 14 Nordic tree fruit and berry species, .
10. Extractability of Polyphenols From Black Currant, Red Currant and Gooseberry and Their Antioxidant Activity, .
11.
12. Changes in fruit quality parameters of four Ribes species during ripening, .
13. Anthocyanins, Phenolics, and Antioxidant Capacity in Diverse Small Fruits: Vaccinium, Rubus, and Ribes, .
14. Characterization of Anthocyanins and Proanthocyanidins in Some Cultivars of Ribes, Aronia, and Sambucus and Their Antioxidant Capacity, .



Read More

Gooseberry
Ribes spp

Amish Red

Zone
:
3
Ripens
🍏:
mid
Color
:
red-pink skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.  At least somewhat resistant to leaf spot.

Black Velvet

Ribes divaricatum hybrid
Zone
:
3
Ripens
🍏:
mid-late
Flavor
:
Reminiscent of concord grapes. The flavor is quite strong and consistent in cool summer climates. The skin is fairly high in acidity while the flesh is more moderate, making it one of the most acidic gooseberries when fully ripe.
Color
:
dark purple skin
Growth
:
up to 8ft tall
Fruit
:
penny-size
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.  Somewhat resistant to leaf spot.
Black Velvet berries cling to their moderately thorny bush very well, and the leaves turn yellow late into the season (most may drop before then in some climates).

controversy: some consider the berries to be too tart for fresh eating.

Captivator

American x European hybrid. Developed in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (1935).
Zone
:
3a
Ripens
🍏:
mid
Flavor
:
moderate to moderately-low in acidity
Texture
:
fairly thick skin, can be somewhat firm and crunchy
Color
:
burgundy skin
Fruit
:
quarter-size, may have a raindrop shape
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.  
Contradicting reports on leaf spot susceptibility.
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.  The bush has few thorns.

Colossal

Originated in Mankato, Minnesota (1974).
Zone
:
3
Color
:
supposedly "deep red" in color when mature, but some claim they have green skin.
Fruit
:
1.5" berries
Afflictions
:
Somewhat susceptible to powdery mildew.

Friend

Originated in Ukraine.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to leaf spot.
thornless

Glendale

R. missouriense x R. grossularia.  Developed in Little Silver, New Jersey (1932).
Zone
:
3
Growth
:
6 to 8ft tall
Afflictions
:
Probably resistant to leaf spot and powdery mildew since it was bred for a more southern location (northern part of the Cfa climate in the US).

Hinnonmaki Red

Originated in Finland.
Alias
:
Lepaan Punainen, Lepaa Red
Zone
:
2? (3)
Ripens
🍏:
early-mid?
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.  At least somewhat resistant to leaf spot.
Hinnonmaki Red and Lepaa Red may have originally been the same variety in the US, but I am not sure if they still are or if one of them is mislabeled.  They do share at least a few similar qualities, such as their burgundy skin and resistance to mildew.

In Finland, where the variety was developed, they are referred to as Lepaan Punainen.

Hinnonmaki Yellow

European x American hybrid. Originated in Finland.
Zone
:
3
Ripens
🍏:
mid
Flavor
:
the flesh is moderate to moderately-low in acidity; the skin is moderate to moderately-high.
Color
:
green skin (yellow in sunlight)
Growth
:
dwarf
Fruit
:
penny to nickel
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust.  Somewhat resistant to powdery mildew and leaf spot.
Nurseries like to say that the flavor of Hinnonmaki Yellow is reminiscent of apricot, but I have not seen any home-growers confirm this.  I have not experienced this either.

The bush is quite dwarfing, to the point where it looks unusual sitting next to the others.  It could pair well with Jewel and Jeanne, since they, too, are considered to be small.  The bush is also quite thorny, which doesn't pair well with its dwarfing habit.  It will essentially force you to keep the bush well pruned.

Houghton

R. grossularia x R. hirtellum.  Originated in Lynn, Massachusetts (1833).
Zone
:
3
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
may have less resistance to powdery mildew than most hybrid varieties.
The leaves turn purple in the fall, and they often have a red or burgundy outline.

Jeanne

unknown American x European parentage.  Introduced in Corvallis, Oregon (2006).
Zone
:
3
Blooms
💮:
late
Ripens
🍏:
mid-late
Flavor
:
sweet or sweet-tart
Color
:
burgundy skin
Growth
:
dwarf (3ft tall)
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust, powdery mildew, and leaf spot.

Jewel

Originated in Poland.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
shown to have peach skin by one major nursery, but the skin may be burgundy when the berries are fully ripe in most climates.
Growth
:
dwarf

Oregon Champion

Crown Bob x Houghton.  Originated in Salem, Oregon (1876).
Zone
:
3
Flavor
:
tart
Color
:
green-yellow skin
Growth
:
5ft tall
Afflictions
:
Somewhat susceptible to powdery mildew.

Pixwell

R. missouriense x Oregon Champion.  Originated in North Dakota (1932).
Zone
:
3
Ripens
🍏:
early-mid
Flavor
:
moderately-low in acidity
Color
:
dark purple skin when fully ripe, but some like to harvest them when they are pink-green.
Fruit
:
dime or penny
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.  Somewhat resistant to leaf spot.
Pixwell produces a moderate amount of thorns, and the leaves may become burgundy-purple during the last month of summer.  The fruit have a long stem. 

controversy: descriptions of Pixwell's 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, but it's becoming more apparent that, when fully ripe, they are one of the least acidic.  When they are fully ripe, some do not like their fairly low level of acidity and claim the texture is somewhat mealy.

Poorman

Houghton x Downing.  Selected in Brigham City, Utah (1890).
Zone
:
3
Ripens
🍏:
mid
Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.  Somewhat resistant to leaf spot.
Poorman is popular for having an excellent, sweet, low acid flavor when fully ripe.  It produces a moderate amount of thorns, and it may suffer from low productivity for a few additional years in comparison to other varieties.  The berries can hang on the bush for a long period of time.

Red George

Originated in Ukraine.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
dark burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to powdery mildew.  Somewhat resistant to leaf spot.

Sabine

Spinefree x Clark.  Originated in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.  At least somewhat resistant to leaf spot.
few thorns

Tixia

Invicta x LS 9-31-54.  Introduced in Switzerland (1990).
Zone
:
3
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to powdery mildew.  
Susceptible to white pine blister rust?
few thorns

Welcome

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

Canadian Gooseberry
Ribes oxyacanthoides

Jahn's Prairie

Selected in Alberta, Canada (1984).
Zone
:
3
Ripens
🍏:
mid?
Color
:
burgundy skin
Growth
:
5ft tall
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.  
Contradicting reports on leaf spot susceptibility.
thorns are moderately-low in number

European Gooseberry
Ribes grossularia

Careless

Zone
:
3
Color
:
yellow-green skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust.  
Susceptible to powdery mildew.

Early Sulphur

Originated in Britian.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
yellow skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust.  
Susceptible to powdery mildew.

Golda

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

Greenfinch

Careless x (Whinham's Industry x Resistenta).  Originated in East Malling, England (1967).
Zone
:
3
Color
:
green-yellow skin
Growth
:
fairly compact with an erect habit
Fruit
:
medium-sized (smaller than Invicta)
Yield
:
highly productive
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew. 
More resistant to leaf spot than Invicta, but I haven't seen any reports on its performance in the United States.
The spines on Greenfinch are less prominent than those on Invicta.

Invicta

Resistenta x Whinham's Industry.  Originated in East Malling, England (1967).
Zone
:
3
Blooms
💮:
  .......   :   probably later than some other European varieties
Ripens
🍏:
early
Flavor
:
Some Invicta berries may have a strong kiwi flavor. It is moderate to moderately-low in acidity, and it primarily resides in the skin.
Color
:
green-yellow skin
Fruit
:
quarter-size
Yield
:
highly productive
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew.  
Susceptible to leaf spot.
The bush is very thorny, and the berries easily fall off the bush when ripe.

controversy: reports about Invicta are unusually variable.

Keepsake

Zone
:
3
Blooms
💮:
early
Color
:
green skin, may have a red blush
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to powdery mildew.

Leveller

Developed in England (1851).
Zone
:
3
Color
:
yellow skin
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to powdery mildew.

Speedwell

Zone
:
3
Color
:
red-green skin (may end up being much redder than those in the image)
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust.  
Somewhat susceptible to powdery mildew?

Whinham's Industry

Originated in Britain.
Zone
:
3
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust.  
Susceptible to powdery mildew.

Whitesmith

Originated in England (1824).
Zone
:
3
Color
:
green skin
Yield
:
highly productive
Afflictions
:
Resistant to white pine blister rust.  
Susceptible to powdery mildew.