Herb: Gummy Gooseberry

Latin name: Ribes lobbii

Synonyms: Grossularia lobbii, Ribes subvestitum

Family: Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)

Medicinal use of Gummy Gooseberry:

The root has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. A poultice of the roots and salt water has been applied to mouth sores, body sores, blisters and carbuncles. The root ash, mixed with oil, has been used as a salve on boils.

Description of the plant:


180 cm
(6 feet)

to May

Habitat of the herb:

Creek banks and lowland valleys to open or forested mountain slopes.

Edible parts of Gummy Gooseberry:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Generally considered to be unpalatable, but they were occasionally eaten by some native North American Indian tribes.

Other uses of the herb:

The roots have been boiled with cedar (Juniperus spp, Thuja sp.) and wild rose (Rosa spp) roots, then pounded and woven into rope. The sharp thorns have been used as probes for boils, for removing splinters and for tattooing.

Propagation of Gummy Gooseberry:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification at between 0 and 5C 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Creek banks and lowland valleys to open or forested mountain slopes.

Known hazards of Ribes lobbii:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.