Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Plant of the Week: Ribes roezlii

This week's beauty is Ribes roezlii or Sierra Gooseberry, a west coast native shrub. I fell in love with it because of the winter-blooming tiny fuchsia-like flowers and bought me a one gallon plant at Seven Oaks Nursery in 2018. 

My plant is in full bloom right now. 

Ribes roezlii gleaming in the sun

Notice the bright red sepals when the sun is shining on them, contrasted with the dark red when it's not, below.

What was surprising to me is how tiny the flowers are. Check out my daughter's hand holding the penny for scale.

The evergreen leaves are also tiny and slightly glossy. And then there are the thorns!



This is not an easy plant to photograph. 

There are red berries that ripen later in the summer but I haven't seen them yet on my plant. 

This Ribes seems to be a slow grower and mine is still in a pot. Eventually I'll find a semi-shady spot for it and let it take off. If I don't kill it first. So far, so good. 

Native plants are all the rage right now. This is good news because it means more of them will be for sale at nurseries! 

Do you grow any native plants?


  1. It's a lovely thing! The flowers on my Ribes viburnifolium are even smaller but the plants are covered in them in late winter and it gets by with very little water so it's a good fit here. It's native to Catalina Island, which is figuratively within spitting distance. I've got some natives, Salvia clevelandii and Ceanothus among them.

  2. Some species of Ribes require cross pollination for fruit set. This may be one of those species if yours had been flowering age at least a couple years, but still no fruit set.

  3. That is a pretty Ribes, and quite thorny. When we lived in Germany there was a gooseberry bush in the fence line between our garden and the neighbor's. The German word for gooseberry is Stachelbeeren- direct translation- sting berry because of all the thorns.
    I really like growing natives, so much easier. One that thrives in my garden is Clethra alnifolia, sweetpepper bush. The blooms are super fragrant.

  4. Fantastic photos and I now have a new plant crush, thanks!


Thank you for being here! Your comments feed my soul.