Miccosukee Gooseberry / Center For Plant Conservation
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Plant Profile

Miccosukee Gooseberry (Ribes echinellum)

Ribes echinellum immature fruit Photo Credit: Cindy Campbell
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Threatened
  • Family: Grossulariaceae
  • State: FL, SC
  • Nature Serve ID: 159888
  • Lifeform: Shrub
  • Date Inducted in National Collection:

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.

Where is Miccosukee Gooseberry (Ribes echinellum) located in the wild?


Mixed hardwood or beech-magnolia forests on slopes and in bottomlands.


Known only from Jefferson County, FL and McCormick County, SC

States & Provinces:

Miccosukee Gooseberry can be found in Florida, South Carolina

Which CPC Partners conserve Miccosukee Gooseberry (Ribes echinellum)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

  • 09/27/2020
  • Propagation Research

Seed Germination (Bok Tower Gardens)Propagation (Bok Tower Gardens),

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known from only two disjunct localities. There is one population in Jefferson County, Florida and two sites in McCormick County, South Carolina. Where found, the species grows relatively abundantly. Threats include lakeside development, as the Florida occurrences are privately owned, logging of surrounding hardwoods, competition from invasive non-native plants such as Japanese honeysuckle, Japanese climbing fern, and Chinese privet, and deer browsing.

Cindy Campbell
  • 01/01/2010

Protected status of land-The FL population on Mays Pond is protected by a Conservation Easement that is held by Tall Timbers Research Station. The population on Norias Plantation is on private land. The South Carolina site is on lands managed as a natur

Cindy Campbell
  • 01/01/2010

2 in FL, 1 in SC (FNAI 2000). A 5-year status review will be released in the summer of 2008 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Cindy Campbell
  • 01/01/2010

Seed Germination (Bok Tower Gardens) Propagation (Bok Tower Gardens), (Jones, Clemson University) Pollination (Catling, Dumouchel, Brownell, Agriculture Canada) Compositional and soil-site characteristics (Jones and Dunn, Clemson University) (Schultz and Hardin, FNAI)

Cindy Campbell
  • 01/01/2010

No current activity.

Cindy Campbell
  • 01/01/2010

Determine the genetic variability among and within the three populations Conduct demographic studies to determine population stability, increase, and decline. Determine habitat management requirements for declining populations and develop management guidelines. Phenological life history needs to be quantitatively described. Seed germination requirements determined for both the Florida and South Carolina populations. Shade tolerance needs to be determined in order to effectively manage the species. Reaction of the species to perturbations, such as fire or alteration of stand structure is needed for effective management. Develop recovery plan.

Cindy Campbell
  • 01/01/2010

Collect seeds from each population in the wild and bring into cultivation at Bok Tower Gardens for reintroduction in the event of native population destruction and for research purposes Collect seeds periodically from native populations to establish populations for study and as seed sources for reintroductions Accession and store seed with the National Seed Storage Lab Genetic studies Develop optimal propagation protocols for both seed and vegetative reproduction


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Taxon Ribes echinellum
Authority (Coville) Rehd.
Family Grossulariaceae
CPC Number 3755
ITIS 24464
Duration Perennial
Common Names Florida Gooseberry | Miccosukee Gooseberry
Associated Scientific Names Ribes echinellum | Grossularia echinella
Distribution Known only from Jefferson County, FL and McCormick County, SC
State Rank
State State Rank
Florida S1
South Carolina S1
Ecological Relationships


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