Ribes echinellum

Common Names:
Florida Gooseberry, Miccosukee Gooseberry
(Coville) Rehd.
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Cindy Campbell
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Bok Tower Gardens

The conservation of Ribes echinellum is fully sponsored.
Cindy Campbell contributed to this Plant Profile.


Ribes echinellum is a spiny shrub averaging 3.5 feet in height and can form small thickets. The leaves are alternate, 3-lobed and measure 1 to 2 centimeters long. The flowers are pale green and small hanging from long stalks and usually solitary with 5 small petals and 5 sepals. The fruits are spiny and measure up to 22 millimeters in diameter. The plant sheds most of its leaves in the summer and new leaves emerge in the fall and winter. The plants reproduce from seeds and also asexually by the rooting of stem tips that make contact with the ground.

Although not in cultivation, fruits of Ribes were available in London markets (Gerarde 1597). Commonly referred to as currants, they were used as herbals (Meyer et al. 1999). Capt. John Smith made the first mention of Ribes in the New World when he noted R. oxyacanthoides in New England (Hedrick 1919). R. echinellum was first discovered in 1924 by F.W. Coville in Florida on land previously occupied by the Muskogean-speaking Chatot, who later merged with the Choctaws. Miccosukees inhabited the area after the Chatot moved west (Swanton 1946). The population here occurs on the shores of what is now called Lake Miccosukee. Coville first used the name Grossularia echinella . Grossularia is a corruption of French words of Latin origin which referred to an unripe fig. The present nomenclature was iniated in 1926 by Rehder (NatureServe 2008). Most of this genus produce edible fruits but R. echinellum is so rare, it has not been utilized in this manner.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research