Endemic to the Klamath-Siskiyou region of southwest Oregon and northwest California, Marshall’s gooseberry is a species of currant known by the common names Applegate’s gooseberry, Hupa gooseberry and Marshall’s gooseberry. This charismatic deciduous shrub grows in subalpine and upper montane conifer forests in the Klamath Mountain range in northwest California, and in the Siskiyou Mountains in Josephine County, Oregon.
Marshall’s gooseberry has showy, attractive, pendant flowers with maroon-purple to rusty-red, pointed sepals that are strongly reflexed upward, with a protruding corolla at the center with bright yellow petals and five stamens with two thin, mostly fused styles. Marshall’s gooseberry flowers in June to July, depending on elevation. The hanging, singular flowers are borne from the leaf axils on the stem. The arching stems may root at the tips if they contact moist soils. The stems have 3 spines at each node and lightly hairy, green leaves with 3-5 widely toothed lobes. The shrub is typically 3-6′ tall.
In early fall Marshall’s gooseberry produces dark red prickly berries that are edible and palatable, albeit a bit stringent depending on ripeness. For fresh eating the berry can be split open and the insides squeezed into your mouth to avoid the prickly skin. It’s possible this fruit has been used for processed cooking but we are not aware of such use since this species has a limited range and there is not a lot known about it’s historic cultural uses.
This species prefers full sun to part-shade and medium to moist, rich soil with good drainage. The flowers of Marshall’s gooseberry are used by many different species of pollinator, especially bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. It is also likely a larval host plant for some butterflies that use currants as larval host plants.
Marshall’s gooseberry (Ribes marshallii) seed packets contain approximately 40 seeds per packet.
Seed Germination Instructions
This species requires 90-120 days cold-moist stratification in order to germinate.
Sow seeds in pots or direct sow outside in fall with a light dusting of soil over the seeds and let nature do the stratification naturally outside if you have cold enough winters. If you live in an area with mild winters, you may need to provide the cold-moist stratification artificially. For more information please read through the information in our Seed Germination and Propagation Reference Guide.