A small family, shrubs, with alternate, palmately-lobed leaves, often sticky or resinous; the flowers almost always in clusters; the pedicels with a bract at the base and usually with two bractlets halfway up; petals five, or rarely four, usually smaller than the calyx-lobes; stamens of the same number as the petals and alternate with them; ovary inferior, with two styles, more or less united; fruit a berry, crowned with the withered remains of the flower.

There are several kinds of Grossularia, or Gooseberry; shrubs, sometimes with trailing branches, almost always spiny; flowers with bracts; ovary often spiny.