Deciduous sometimes spiny shrubs with shredding outer bark. Twigs rounded but decurrently ridged below the nodes, moderate; pith relatively large, pale, round, continuous but becoming porous in age. Buds small, solitary, sessile or short-stalked, ovoid or fusiform, with about 6 scales. Leaf-scars alternate, U-shaped or broadly crescent-shaped; bundle-traces 3; stipule-scars none.

Fig. 113. Ribes cynosbati

Fig. 113. Ribes cynosbati.

Fig. 114. Ribes missouriense

Fig. 114. Ribes missouriense.

Fig. 115. Ribes rotundifolium

Fig. 115. Ribes rotundifolium.


Stems reclining, with a strong skunklike odor


R. glandulosum


Stems erect or arching

b. Buds ovoid, glandular or puberulent; leaf-scars rather broad

c. Bud-scales and twigs bearing rather conspicuous sessile resin glands;buds glabrate


R. americanum

c. Without resin-glands;buds gray-puberulent


R. triste

b. Buds elongated-subfusiform;leaf-scars very narrow

c. Nodal prickles often large, up to 10 mm. long or more;buds glossy straw-colored


R. missouriense

c. Prickles smaller;buds dull brown

d. Buds short, 3 mm. long, downy


R. rotund ifolium


Buds rather long, 5-6 mm. long

e. Stems bristly and prickly, the nodal prickles about the length of the internodalbristles; twigs and buds glossy straw colored



e. Nodal prickles longer than the bristles

f. Twigs bristly and prickly with quickly exfoliating epidermis; the fruiting canes mostly without bristles on the middle and upper internodes


R. hirtellum

f. Bark of internodes without bristles; nodal spines slender, 0. 5-1 cm. long


R. cynosbati

1. R. cynosbati L. Prickly Gooseberry. A shrub with erect or ascending branches; spines slender, 5-10 mm. long; bud-scales keeled, more or less silky; berries prickly (but not present in winter). Rocky woods, New Brunswick to Manitoba, south to North Carolina, Alabama and Missouri (Fig. 113).

2. R. missouriense Nutt. Missouri Gooseberry. An erect shrub to 2 m. high, bearing stout red spines 7-17 mm. long; buds elongated, fusiform, glossy, straw-colored; twigs grayish or whitish. Thickets, Connecticut to Minnesota and South Dakota, south to Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee (Fig. 114).

3. R. rotundifolium Michx. Smooth Gooseberry. A shrub with erect or spreading branches; spines only 2-5 mm. long, or sometimes lacking; buds 3 mm. long, downy; berry (absent in winter) not prickly. Rocky thickets in the mountains, Massachusetts to West Virginia and North Carolina (Fig. 115).

4. R. hirtellum Michx. Bristly Gooseberry. Shrub about 1 m. high; bark freely exfoliating, that of new canes prickly, of fruiting canes mostly without prickles on the lower internodes; nodal spines 3-8 mm. long. Rocky woods, Labrador to Manitoba, south to Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Minnesota (Fig. 116).

5. R. lacustre (Pers.) Poir. Black Currant. Shrub about thorns, the nodal spines about the length of the internodal; twigs and buds glossy straw-colored. Cold damp woods, Newfoundland to Alaska, south in the eastern mountains to Tennessee, in the west to Colorado, Utah, and California (Fig. 117).

1 m. high; young stems clothed with bristly prickles and with weak

Fig. 116. Ribes hirtellum

Fig. 116. Ribes hirtellum.

Fig. 117. Ribes lacustre

Fig. 117. Ribes lacustre.

Fig. 118. Ribes glandulosum

Fig. 118. Ribes glandulosum.

Fig. 119. Ribes triste

Fig. 119. Ribes triste.

Fig. 120. Ribes americanum

Fig. 120. Ribes americanum.

6. R. glandulosum Grauer. Skunk Currant. (R. prostratum L'Her.). A decumbent or spreading very ill-scented shrub; bark blackish; twigs unarmed, glabrate. Wet woods, Labrador to Mackenzie and British Columbia, south to North Carolina, Michigan and Saskatchewan (Fig. 118).

7. R. triste Pall. Red Currant. Straggling or reclining shrub, the branches often freely rooting; twigs quickly glabrate. Cool woods and swamps, Labrador to Alaska, south to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon (Fig. 119).

8. R. americanum Mill. Wild Black Currant. An erect unarmed shrub 1. 5 m. or less high, with spreading branches;buds ovoid; bud-scales and twigs glabrate, bearing large conspicuous resin-glands; leaf-scars broad. Rich slopes, New Brunswick to Alberta, south to Virginia, Missouri, and New Mexico (Fig. 120).