Botanical Name : Ribes cynosbati
Species: R. cynosbati
Synonyms: Grossularia cynosbati (L.) Mill., Ribes cynosbati var. atrox Fernald, Ribes cynosbati f. atrox (Fernald) B. Boivin
Common Names: Prickly gooseberry, Eastern prickly gooseberry, Dogberry, Dog bramble, and Groseillier des chiens (in Quebec)
Ribes cynosbati is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft) with erect to spreading stems. Leaves have 3 or 5 lobes, with glandular hairs. Flowers are greenish-white, and the bristly fruits white to greenish and pleasant-tasting.
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It and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Plants are quite tolerant of shade though do not fruit so well in such a position. Hardy to about -20°c. A parent of the cultivated American gooseberry, it is occasionally cultivated in America for its edible fruit. It does not tend to fruit very heavily in Britain. The ssp. R. cynosbati inerme. Rehd. has a fruit that is without bristles. Plants can harbour a stage of white pine blister rust, so should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between -2 to +2°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors
Fruit – raw or cooked. A pleasant sub-acid flavour, good for quenching thirst, they also make excellent pies, jellies and preserves. A gooseberry. The fruit can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter and is covered with short weak bristles.
Ophthalmic; Women’s complaints.
The root or the root bark has been used in the treatment of uterine problems caused by having too many children. An infusion of the root has been used as a wash for sore eyes.
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