Ribes divaricatum (Wild Gooseberry)


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Plant Description: A deciduous mid sized thorny shrub adored by birds because of it's fruit and coverage. Leaves are lobed and hairy with bell shaped flowers enjoyed by hummingbirds, followed by shiny, black gooseberry fruit. Blooms in mid through late Spring with fruit from late Spring to Summer. Often considered the most tasty of Ribes species, fruit is sweet, juicy, and pungent; great when cooked, baked with, or raw. Bark has been traditionally used to treat colds and sore throat.



  • Height: 3-7ft
  • Width: 1-3ft
  • Watering needs: Moist-wet, seasonal flooding
  • Sun needs: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil needs: well draining soil
  • Bloom Time: April-May
  • Ripening Time: July-September
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: A native plant, Ribes divaricatum grows from Southwest British Columbia into Southern California between the Pacific Coast and the west slope of the Cascades.  Found growing at lower elevation in wet locations including moist slopes, wet open woods, and coastal bluffs. 

We recommend using this plant for places with ample water such as rain gardens, bios wales, oaks woodlands, food forests, and bird habitats. Their bell shapes flowers are frequented by hummingbirds, their fruit enjoyed by many birds such as thrush species. This plant is also a known host species for the Oreas Comma butterfly. 


*Image courtesy of SevenOaks Nursery*

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