Ribes californicum

Foothill gooseberry

Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Well-draining
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 5' X 5'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



The foothill gooseberry is often encountered growing under the shade of oaks in California’s coastal mountains and the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada from Calaveras County north. It grows as an open, rounded shrub with tortuous grey branches punctuated by clusters of stout spines. The dark green leaves are round and soft with lobed edges. Like all members of the genus Ribes (currants and gooseberries), foothill gooseberry flowers in winter. The pendent flowers are quite interesting, and certainly warrant a closer look. The flowers yield to spiney red berries in late spring and early summer which are edible if one can get around the protective spines. Foothill gooseberry will go largely dormant in the fall but will come back in the cool winter months.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous