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Ribes hirtellum (Hairystem gooseberry)
Smith, R.W.

Ribes hirtellum

Ribes hirtellum Michx.

Hairystem Gooseberry, Hairy-stem Gooseberry, Northern Gooseberry

Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)

Synonym(s): Grossularia hirtella, Ribes hirtellum var. calcicola, Ribes hirtellum var. saxosum, Ribes oxyacanthoides var. calcicola, Ribes oxyacanthoides var. hirtellum, Ribes oxyacanthoides var. saxosum


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

A shrubby plant 2-5 ft. tall. Branches have no prickles or very short, slender ones. The palmately lobed leaves are either smooth or softly hairy. Flowers, occuring in small clusters, are greenish-white to pink and are followed by purple berries.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.
Fruit: Greenish to purplish to black.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun


USA: CT , IA , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , VT , WI , WV
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Lab. to Man., s. to MD, PA, n. IL & in s.e. IA
Native Habitat: Moist, rocky woods; cliffs; bogs & fens

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Not recommended; carries disease which kills white pine.


Use Wildlife: Berries are favorites among birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Ribes hirtellum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ribes hirtellum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ribes hirtellum


Record Modified: 2023-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff

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