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Ribes divaricatum facts for kids

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Ribes divaricatum
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Scientific classification

Ribes divaricatum is a species in the genus Ribes found in the forests, woodlands, and coastal scrub of western North America from British Columbia to California. The three accepted varieties have various common names which include the word "gooseberry".

  • Ribes divaricatum var. divaricatum, or spreading gooseberry is found in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
  • Ribes divaricatum var. parishii, called Parish's gooseberry, is found only in California.
  • Ribes divaricatum var. pubiflorum, known as straggly gooseberry is native to both California and Oregon.

Other common names include coast black gooseberry, wild gooseberry, Worcesterberry, or spreading-branched gooseberry.

Ribes divaricatum 5378
Flower distinguishing features include a red to reddish-green calyx with recurved lobes, white to red petals and stamens that are longer than the calyx lobes.


Ribes divaricatum is a shrub sometimes reaching 3 meters in height with woody branches with one to three thick brown spines at leaf nodes. The leaves are generally palmate in shape and edged with teeth. The blades are up to 6 centimeters long and borne on petioles.

The inflorescence is a small cluster of hanging flowers, each with reflexed purple-tinted green sepals and smaller, lighter petals encircling long, protruding stamens. The fruit is a sweet-tasting berry up to a centimeter wide which is black when ripe. It is similar to Ribes lacustre and Ribes lobbii, but the former has smaller, reddish to maroon flowers and the latter has reddish flowers that resemble those of fuchsias and sticky leaves.



The berries are edible, and are ripe when black.

Traditional Native American medical plants

The fruit was food for a number of Native American groups of the Pacific Northwest, and other parts of the plant, especially the bark, was used for medicinal purposes.

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