Low shrubs, often prickly with alternate, palmately lobed leaves. Calyx 5-lobed, adherent to the 1-celled ovary, bearing at top the corolla of 5 petals alternating with the 5 short stamens. Anth. introrse. Fruit a 1-celled, inferior berry with 2 parietal placentae. Styles 2. Seeds ∞, embryo minute, in abundant horny albumen. (Figs. C7, 309.)
Genera 1, species 95. The gooseberries and currants are natives of the N. temperate zone of both continents, but unknown in the tropics or S. hemisphere, except S. America.
Properties. The berries contain a sweet, mucilaginous pulp, together with malic or citric acid. They are always wholesome, and usually esculent.
1. RI'BES, L. Currants. (Named from the Arabic.) Character the same as that of the Order.
Currants. Stems unarmed. Lvs. convolute in bud. Fls. yellow......................
Currants. Stems unarmed. Lvs. plicate in bud. - Fruit hairy......................
Nos. 2 - 4
- Fruit smooth....................
Nos. 5- 7
GOOSEBERRIES. Stems spinescent. Lvs. plicate. - Fruit hispid.........................
...Nos. 8, 9
- Fruit smooth. - Fed. very short
.Nos. 10, 11
Nos. 12 - 14
1 R. aureum Ph. Missouri, or Golden Currant. Plant smooth; lvs. 3-lobed, lobes divaricate, entire or with a few large teeth; petioles longer than the leaves; bracts linear, as long as the pedicels; rac, lax, with many bright yellow fls.; cal. tubular, longer than the pedicels, segm. oblong, obtuse; petals linear; fr. smooth, oblong or globous, yellow, finally brown. - Me., W. to Or. A beautiful shrub 6 to J Of high, common in cultivation. Fls. numerous, very fragrant. Apr., May. †
2 R. sanguineum Ph. Lvs. canescent-tomentous beneath; glabrous above, cordate, 3 to 5-lobed, doubly serrate; rac. long and loose; bracts red, spatulate, rather longer than the pedicels; fls. rose-red; cal. tubular-campanulate, segm. spreading, obovate, as long as the spatulate petals; sty. united into 1; stig. 2-lobed; fr. dryish, with sparse glandular hairs. - Oregon (Rev. G. Atkinson). A beautiful shrub with largo showy racemes. †
3 R resinosum Ph. Plant clothed throughout with resinous-glandular hairs ,' lvs. 3 to 5rlobed, roundish; rac. erect; cal. segm. spreading; petals obtusely rhomboidal; bracts linear, longer than the pedicels; fr. hairy. - Mts. of N. Car. (Parker. See N. Am. Fl. p. 550). We have seen no specimens of this obscure species.
4 R. prostratum L'Her. Mountain Currant. St. reclined; lvs. smooth, deeply cordate, 5 to 7-lobed, doubly serrate, reticulate-rugous; rac. erect, lax, many-flowered; cal. rotate; berries globous, glandular-hispid, red. - A small shrub, on mountains and rocky hills, Penn. to Can., ill-scented and with ill-flavored berries - sometimes called Skunk Currant. Prostrate stems, with erect, straight branches. Lvs. about as large as in No. 1, lobes acute. Petioles elongated. Rac. about 8-flowered, becoming erect in fruit Bracts very short. Fls. marked with purple. Berries rather large. May. (R. rigens Mx.)
5 R. rubrum L. Common Red Currant. Lvs. obtusely 3 to 5-lobed, smooth above, pubescent beneath, subcordate at base, margin mucronately serrate; rac. nearly smooth, pendulous; cal. short, rotate; bracts much shorter than the pedicels; fr. globous, glabrous, red. - Woods, St. Johnsbury, Vt. (Carey), Wis. (Lap-ham), N. to the Arc. Ocean. Cultivated universally in gardens.
β. (white currant). Fr. light amber-colored, larger and sweeter.
6 R. floridura L'Her. Wild Black Currant. Lvs. subcordate, 3 to 5-lobcd. sprinkled on both sides with yellowish, resinous dots; rac. many-flowered, pendulous, pubescent; cal. cylindrical; bracts linear, longer than the pedicels; fr. obo-void, smooth, black. - A handsome shrub in woods and hedges, Can. to Ky., common, 3 to 4f high. Lvs. 1 to 2' long, the width something more, lobes acute, spreading, 3, sometimes with 2 small additional ones; dots just visible to the naked eye. Petioles 1 to 2' long. Fls. rather bell-shaped, greenish yellow. Fr. insipid. May, Jn.
. 7 R. nigrum L. Black Currant. Lvs. 3 to 5-lobed, punctate with yellowish dots beneath, dentate-serrate, longer than their petioles; rac. lax, hairy, somewhat nodding; cal. campanulate; bracts nearly equaling the pedicels; fr. roundish-ovoid, nearly black. - Native of Europe, etc. Cultivated and esteemed for its medicinal jelly. Fls. yellowish. - This species much resembles R. floridum. 8 R. Cynosbati L. Prickly Gooseberry. St. prickly or not; subaxillary spines about in pairs; lvs. cordate, 3 to 5-lobed, pubescent, lobes incisely dentate; rac. nodding, 2, to 3-flowered; cal. tube ovate-cylindric, longer than the segm.; pet. obovate, shorter than the cal. segm.; sty. united to the top; berries prickly. - N. and W. States, about 4f high, in hedges and thickets, mostly without prickles, but armed with 1 to 3 sharp spines just below the axil of each leaf. Petioles downy. Fls. greenish white. Fr. mostly covered with long prickles, brownish-purple, eatable. May, Jn.
9 R. lacustre Poir. Swamp Gooseberry. St. covered with prickles; subaxil-lary spines several; lvs. deeply 3 to 5-lobed, cordate at base. lobes deeply incised; rac. 5 to 8-flowered, pilous; cal. rotate, sty. 2-cleft; berries small, hispid. - In swamps, N. States, and Brit. Am. Shrub 3 to 4f high. Sts. reddish from the numerous prickles, which differ from the spines only in size. Lvs. shining above.
. 1 1/2 to 2 1/2' diam. Petioles ciliate, hispid, longer than the lvs. Fls. green. Fr. covered with long prickles, dark purple, disagreeable. May. - The older stems are unarmed save with a few spines.
10 R hirtellum Mx. St. unarmed, rarely prickly; subaxillary spines short. solitary, or nearly so; lvs. roundish, cordate 3 to 5-lobed, toothed, pubescent beneath; ped. short, 1 to 2-flowered; cal. tube smooth, campanulate, segm. twice longer than the petals; stam. longer than either; sty. hairy, 2-cleft; fr. Smooth.- In rocky wools, N.. H. and Mass. to Wise. N. to Hudson's Bay. Lvs. 9 to 18" diam., generally cleft half way to the middle. Fls. nodding, greenish. Fr. purple. May, Jn. (R. triflorum Bw.. R. saxosum Hook.)
11 R. oxycanthoides L. St. clothed with bristly prickles; subaxillary spines 3, often fewer, united at base; lvs. 5-lobed, roundish, subeordate, cut-dentate; ped. about 2-flowered, very short; cal. tube cylindric; sty. cleft half way; fr. smooth.- Can., in rocky woods. Readily distinguished from No. 10 by its numerous prickles, but some of its forms are nearly destitute of them. Fr. bluish purple.
12 R. rotundifolium Mx. Subaxillary spines mostly solitary, short; lvs. roundish, smooth, 3 to 5-lobed. incisely crenate-dentate; ped. smooth, 1 to 3-flowered; cal. cylindrical, smooth, segm. linear, finally reflexed; pet. spatulate, unguiculate; stam. and 2-parted sty. slender, much exserted, smooth; berries smooth. - In woods, N. II. to N. Car. and Mo. Shrub 3 to 4f high. Sts. with a whitish bark, the younger often prickly. (R. Missouriense Nutt.) Lvs. 1 to 2' diam., mostly truncate at base, shining above. Petioles ciliate, 1 to 3' long. Petals yellowish-white. Fr. purple, delicious, resembling the garden gooseberry. May.
13 R. gracile Mx. Pubescent; st. scarcely prickly; subaxillary spines 1 to 3, short, very slender; lvs. roundish, 3-lobed; pod. 1 to 2-flowered, long and slender; cal. tube much shorter than the linear, recurved segm.; pet. very small; fr. smooth. Mts. of Tenn. and Ala. Apr. - Probably another variety of No. 12.
14 R. Uva-crispa L. ENGLISH, or Garden Gooseberry. St. prickly; lvs. roundish, 3 to 5-lobed, hairy beneath, on short, hairy petioles; ped. hairy, 1-flowered; cal. campanulate; sty. and ova. hairy; fr. smooth or hairy, globous. - Gardens. Long cultivated, until there are several hundred varieties, with red, white, green, and amber fruit, often weighing an ounce or more each. Apr. ‡ Eur.