Photo by Mark Kane
These are plucky small shrubs, native from Europe to the Himalayas, and widely grown, including in North America, for their fruits. The shrub is ragged and prickly, with sharp spines on stems, branches, and twiglets. The fruits are the size of grapes or smaller, smooth-skinned and slightly translucent, but size and taste vary from cultivar to cultivar (there are many). Generally, the fruits are acidic and mildly sweet with a distinctive flavor. They’re most often used for pies.
Some regions ban gooseberries because the plants are hosts for one stage of a fungal disease (white pine blister rust) that in its other phase infects and kills white pine trees. However, the rules vary--some bans allow for growing cultivars (there are a few) that are resistant to the fungus. For a survey of cultivars and an introduction to planting and training the plants, see this guide from the University of Minnesota.
The many English gardeners who love to compete for raising the largest vegetables (such as leeks the size of baseball bats) have fellow enthusiasts who focus on fruits, including gooseberries. A gardener will pick off all flowers but one and then cosset the shrub while the lone fruit grows gigantic (as big as a plum). This is a sport for the brave. There’s sabotage with midnight raids, and deep disappointment when the prize fruit bursts just before the judges arrive.
Copyright © 2012 YourGardenShow.com
Plant Photo Tagging allows you to turn any garden photo into a rich tapestry of what you have planted. It’s fun, informative, and helpful to others visiting your garden. As you photo tag, you can easily add plant names from our database and/or make notes about anything you’d like. To get started, sign-in and go to your Garden.
Click on any image in your garden's slideshow Carousel to get to full-view mode. Click on the “Tag” icon just below your photo and you are ready to tag! Simply click and drag your mouse over a plant or area you’d like to highlight or tag. A pop-up box will appear and ask for either a plant name or a note - add one or both, then click “tag” and you’ve just tagged your garden!
Write and tell us your suggestion for a "How it Works" video:
For more info contact: email@example.com
Plant of the Day archive