Ribes californicum Hook. & Arn. var. hesperium (McClatchie)

Hillside Gooseberry
Grossulariaceae (Gooseberry Family)

Hillside gooseberry is an intricately-branched shrub growing to 4-1/2' with glabrous young twigs and 1-3 stoutish nodal spines. The leaf blades are thin, 3-5-cleft, 3/8" to 1-1/2" wide, roundish, and with a nonglandular lower surface. The flowers are on stems from the leaf axils with a bristly floral tube about 1/8" long, five reflexed green to reddish sepals 1/4" to 3/8" long, five white petals with the margins curled inwards, and five exserted stamens.  The styles exceed the filaments and have short, sharp, flexible points.  The fruit is a bristly berry about 3/8" in diameter.  Hillside gooseberry typically inhabits wooded canyons below 2000' mostly in chaparral from the Santa Ana and San Gabriel Mountains to Santa Barbara County, blooming from January to March. These pictures were taken on the Sunset Ridge Trail below Mt. Lowe.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Ribes  2) californicum 3) hesperium.
Pronunciation: RIE-bees ka-li-FOR-ni-kum hes-PARE-ee-um.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.