Gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa) Photo attribution license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/. Green gooseberries are rich in pectin and make delicious jam or jelly. I want the ducks to roam where they like in the garden, two border collies guard them from predators during the daytime, at night they are penned up. In fact, as of the date this article was written, the popular go-to website Wikipedia mentions nothing about gooseberry bush toxicity. In-depth research reveals that the gooseberry's name has nothing to do with geese, but is actually connected, according to Wikipedia, to the Middle High German word krus (curl, crisped) and the Latin word grossularia. You can use a fertilizer that contains chlorine. Gooseberry plants require a soil with a pH of 6.2 to 6.5. A gooseberry is often a green colour with light coloured stripes, but it can be red, yellow, purple, black and white, depending on the species and variety, and it usually contains many small edible seeds in the flesh of the fruit. When you are considering planting gooseberry plants, you need to prepare the soil well before putting the plants in. Shameful and humbling is the experience of missing a crucial detail, no matter how elusive, when it comes to losing a pet due to one's own perceived carelessness. It is generally armed with simple reddish or black slender spines along the stem. In the image above, we can see an example of green and red gooseberries. Gooseberry-type leaf. Of course one must eat a lot of apple seeds to be poisoned. I have many raspberries, blackcurrants, black and redcurrants growing in the garden do you perhaps know of other plants with the danger of cyanide poisoning for ducks and geese? You'd need to walk 15 minutes to burn 53 calories. We are told the wrong information by so-called experts. One of the things people use unripe, rather than ripe, gooseberries for is jam. It is such cases, and with common plants like the gooseberry—a member of the currant family—that mistakes can be made, even by the most conscientious gardener or pet/livestock keeper. In spite of the prickles, this fruit is indeed edible. All well and good, but how do you know when to harvest gooseberries? In general, gooseberry plants are spiny while currant plants tend not to be armed with spines. Some websites mention little more than it being "edible." Yes, gooseberries are not only edible, they are delicious and healthy for you! Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 11, 2013: I had no idea that the gooseberry plant was poisonous, either. Gooseberry canes normally produce a spine at each leaf node and bear roughly grape-sized berries singly or in groups of two or three. You may have heard that unripened gooseberries are poisonous. When I was a wee bit of a girl, 5 baby goslings died from ingesting locust blossoms. In 1904 the Chinese Gooseberry was described as “edible fruits in the size of walnuts, and the flavor of ripe gooseberries", that description lead to the name Chinese gooseberry. This particular one is from a Wild Gooseberry. Gooseberries are divided into either European (Ribes grossularia) or American (R. hirtellum) types. The gooseberry bushes are one of the few bushes growing berries that are harvested just before peak ripeness. A few days ago my beloved four-year-old imprinted goose, Lucy, died from hydrogen cyanide poisoning after consuming a serving of "young, tender leaves" from a gooseberry bush that had been planted in her yard last spring. You can grow your gooseberry plants as free standing bushes. This particular one is from a Wild Gooseberry. What you want to end up with is 15 to 16 canes per gooseberry bush. Thank you so much Shanti for wrting this warning article. Not all of the above symptoms may be present and this is in no way meant as a comprehensive list of all possible indications of hydrogen cyanide poisoning. Inside, a berry may hold 15-30 tiny edible seeds. They are also used to flavour beverages such as sodas, flavoured waters, or milk, and can be made into fruit wines and teas. Make sure your soil has been prepared by removing any weeds and rocks. Although closely related, you can easily distinguish currants and gooseberries by examining the canes and fruit. Just awful. Eleven species are native to Arizona. We do have ducks and egrets and glossy ibis and...LOTS of other birds, so I will be sure to see that we do not have any gooseberry plants around. Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 11, 2013: Sorry to hear of the death of your Lucy. Create the right circumstances, though, and some plants are deadly. If you use the chemical hydrogen cyanide as a search term in conjunction with gooseberry, then you will find information at Plants For A Future about the toxicity of Ribes uva-crispa, or the gooseberry bush. When researching the gooseberry, you may find a plethora of information about it being an excellent source of Vitamin C, or about the pies and jams you can make from the berries; you may read that the plant has been known throughout the ages for its medicinal properties. Sign up for our newsletter. When ripe they should be liked as dessert as much as any other fruit. Dry cape gooseberry fruits are also eaten as dry fruits. Seasons/Availability No matter how hard we are on ourselves, we make mistakes. Yes, we can think of many plant species that are partially edible: potatoes and tomatoes with their edible fruits and poisonous leaves; rhubarb with its poisonous leaves and edible stalks, etc. Make sure you place your growing gooseberries 3 to 4 feet apart. The leaf juice has been used in the treatment of worms and bowel complaints. I will dig it up today and bin it. Cape Gooseberry Nutritional Values. These cool weather berries thrive in USDA zones 3-8 and can be eaten fresh or turned into delicious jams or jellies. Gooseberries There are several different species of Gooseberries. Personally I feel it could be a more widely used form as it’s so adaptable. How apt that the plant is named after the goose, you may think. In general, the berries measure 1-2 cm in width and weigh about 4 g to 10 g. Indian gooseberries, also known as amla in the subcontinent, belongs to … This is because at this point, where they are not quite ripe, they are somewhat sour and perfect for pies and tarts. Let’s take a look at how to grow gooseberry plants. While I do not think Lucy's death was anything but horrifying and unnecessary, it has brought the toxicity of gooseberry plants to the forefront so that I, as a writer and animal lover, may spread invaluable news that I hope will prolong many lives and prevent thousands of grief-stricken hours from darkening the days of other animal lovers all over the world. Shanti is a fiction editor and an expert when it comes to caring for ducks. Please seek professional advice concerning any medical symptoms or questions. Make sure your soil has been prepared by removing any weeds and rocks. But what about other pets, or even humans? Gooseberries … The rows should be 8 or 9 feet apart to allow enough room for the growing gooseberry plants to spread. I'm sorry you lost your Lucy and I know she cannot be brought back but the way she died allowed you to grow as a person to help other duck and goose lovers so much that you wrote this excellent article thank you to you and thank you to your Lucy as well. Muriate of Potash is a good choice. We are trying to give them water and food but 2 of the 3 are not interested. The berries are edible and very tasty. The least I can do is get the information out to everyone. I did NOT know that gooseberry leaves were toxic to them. You can also make jam or a delicious cream of the berries. But I thank you for the information you have provided. After visiting site after site, it is easy to decide the plant is a good addition to any garden, livestock or pet area. People brave its prickly stems to collect its tart, tasty fruits to make pies, jams, and jellies. Gooseberry plants require a soil with a pH of 6.2 to 6.5. Thank you so much. There are 53 calories in 1 3/4 cup, no husk (100 g) of Cape Gooseberries, raw, edible portion. Pixwell Gooseberry is an almost thornless plant and because of this it does make picking slightly easier. Other Common Name : Wild Gooseberry. We may even read about the farming of these plants and how livestock or pets are grazed within the crops or kept in the same environments where the plants are grown. Emily Tack from USA on February 23, 2015: I do not currently have a goose, but I did when I was a little girl. Cape gooseberries are rich in vitamin C, vitamin P, and potassium. Still, when an accident happens, many of us feel directly responsible, yet all we can do is inform others and learn from our sorrowful mistakes so that we may carry on with hyper-carefulness. Make sure you prune off any dead roots that might be found before placing the gooseberry plants into the ground. Your soil should contain at least one percent of organic matter that runs 18 to 24 inches deep into the area you are going to plant in. Gooseberries and currants are shrubby plants that bear edible fruit and belong to the genus Ribes. Each bud will open to present about four flowers. Gooseberry bushes are really cold hardy. You can let four to five canes develop each year. What we don't always remember is that cyanide is also contained in the natural world in the form of hydrogen cyanide (hydrocyanic acid) or HCN. Gooseberries grow to 3 to 4 feet tall and have thorny branches. Cyanide in its natural state protects plants against herbivores. But when administered or consumed over long periods of time in small doses, its symptoms may be confused with other ailments. Anywhere you have fruit plants that won’t grow because of the temperature, you will probably have no trouble growing gooseberries. There are two main reasons for that. Our geese have never been interested in them and are getting some leaves as they try to eat the grasses below. Medical uses of Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana). Cape gooseberries have a sweet-tart flavor that is reminiscent of a cherry tomato crossed with tangy notes of pineapple, mango, vanilla, strawberry, and Meyer lemon. Prickly gooseberry occurs mostly in the eastern half of Missouri. A typical Gooseberry-type leaf. Fences give way. Gooseberries are edible and can be eaten as-is, or used as an ingredient in desserts, such as pies, fools and crumbles.  Gooseberry is a close relative to the currant. So when a mistake is made--and we all know this, though it is difficult during times of grief to correct negative self-talk--we tend to ask a million why questions, even when we know nothing that we can possibly do will bring our loved ones back. On the same page, it is listed below that both the plant's leaves and berries are edible, with the young, tender leaves mentioned as salad worthy. Highly nutritious. Still, I've been hard on myself, downright ashamed, actually. A very sweet gooseberry, ripening late spring or early summer. Edible. There are many plants that contain hydrogen cyanide as a defense against being eaten; however, one may have to dig deep into binders of research to read of cases involving poisoning caused by a particular plant, especially if those cases are not well documented or uncommon. It was a sad sad day, Putrid-smelling, watery diarrhea containing partially-digested leaves, Dehydration (skin does not return to position when pinched). She died young and unnecessarily. Gooseberries can be preserved in the form of jams, dried fruit, or as the primary or a secondary ingredient in pickling, or stored in sugar syrup. Cape Gooseberry. There are numerous variables, many of which we cannot control. What is gooseberry? Gooseberries typically grow on a thorny bush, that reaches approximately 1.5 metres (5 feet) in height. But for this information to come up, one would need to be searching for "foods toxic or potentially toxic to tortoises.". This is the fruit of Prickly Gooseberry. Only the ripe fruit is edible, some people find the green fruits toxic and the leaves and flowers are poisonous. The wind can do the job on its own. Shanti Perez (author) from Spokane, Washington, U.S.A. on April 11, 2013: aviannovice - In hindsight I'm surprised information about gooseberry bushes isn't more widespread all around due to the poisonous nature of the new leaves. Dali, a Buff Orpington duck, enjoys a lush, spring afternoon. If they are able to graze freely and have an abundant natural food source, they won't *choose* to eat Gooseberry leaves. Gooseberries are close relatives of the currant, Ribes spp., and have a fruit that’s edible when it’s ripe. Delicious! Perhaps these plants have grown amid our gardens or chicken yards. In spite of the prickles, this fruit is indeed edible. The black currant so greatly prized in all other northern countries, is hardly known on this side of the Atlantic. Gooseberries of some varieties are delectable. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. Origins of Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) plant and … I don't know if they grow in our area, but am "off" to find out! We may be Internet savvy and make a checklist of all the plants we have acquired for landscaping, making sure they are harmless to our pets, or other family members. Underneath the surface, the flesh is aqueous, soft, yellow-orange, and is filled with many small, crunchy, and edible, cream-colored seeds. Some of them have many prickles, some have very few. They belong to the same genus: Ribes. In realizing how easy it would be for someone else to fall victim to this terrible circumstance, I've written this article. Despite its name, it is not botanically related to other gooseberries, such as those of the genus Ribes. It can be a good way to grow fruit in a small space and in ornamental edible gardens, interspersed with small shrubs perhaps. When researching the gooseberry, you may find a plethora of information about it being an excellent source of Vitamin C, or about the pies and jams you can make from the berries; you may read that the plant has been known throughout the ages for its medicinal properties. This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. I would really appreciate this sort of information. This edible plant produces large, oval, green berries that then become a blushing pink in mid-summer when ripe and ready for eating. The gooseberry is quite unappreciated as a dessert fruit in the U.S. We forget, misplace, and mix up. Its spine-covered berries turn reddish purple when ripe. Currant canes lack the spines and bear 8 to 30 pea-sized berries in clusters. Lucy and Wee-Woo enjoy organic greens from a local CSA. Thorny. One of our geese died last night and 3 more have the symptoms of poisoning today! Eleven species are native to Arizona. Confirmations from a combination of sources might put our minds at ease, and so we dig holes, plant shrubs, and landscape our aviaries, duck pens, farms, and playgrounds. Harvesting Gooseberries: How And When To Harvest Gooseberry Plants, Cutting Back Gooseberry Bushes – How And When To Prune Gooseberries, Help, My Gooseberry Fruit Has Maggots: Currant Fruit Fly Control, Symmetry In Landscaping – Learn About Balanced Plant Placement, Mulching With Oyster Shells: How Crushed Oyster Shells Help Plants, Unique Paving Ideas – Creative Ways To Use Pavers In The Garden, Identifying And Treating Greasy Spot Fungus, Learn What Causes Leaves Falling Off A Citrus Tree, What Plants Grow Indoors In Shade: Houseplants That Like Shade, Cut Flower Gardening: Growing Flowers For Others, Pieces Of Garden Wisdom – Gardening Tips For Beginners, Garden Renovation: Giving Life To Neglected Garden Beds, Ordering Plants: Planning The Spring Garden Begins In Winter. We are often busy juggling several tasks at once. These are fruits of the Wild Gooseberry. You can enjoy them raw, as they are, straight from the bush. Ripe gooseberries are good for baked desserts, and they also work well in sweet or savory sauces. Gooseberries are low in calories and fat, yet packed with nutrients. Barbados gooseberries have high acidity, and are quite tart in taste. Much love. Early pickings are generally sour and more appropriate for culinary use. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Despite this terrible experience, it is my hope that this article is found by other proactive animal lovers, if not to prevent gooseberry poisoning, to remind us all how careful we must be and that it is better to be on the safe side and skip those gooseberry jams and pies, or whatever the case may be, and stick with well-known, pet-safe plants. You will want to dig your hole slightly deeper than how deep the plants are planted in their containers. These berries are derived mostly from two species: the European gooseberry and the American gooseberry. There is a berry that is sometimes mistaken for a gooseberry. Produces fruit on 2 … At the time the bush was added, I felt confident I had researched the plant thoroughly and found it to be safe. Often we do not know of the hidden dangers right in our yards. Lucy was loved. They are self-pollinating and do not even require bees to pollinate. While some fruits are not good to eat before they are ripe, gooseberries at any stage are perfectly safe to eat. But gooseberries are not only delicious, they are also full of nutritients! They produce tasty 1-inch-long fruits for fresh eating, pies and jams. As soon as your gooseberry plants have berries that are just about ripe, pick away! While there is a bright yellow caution symbol containing an exclamation point in the "Known Hazards" box, a number of benefits are listed before, at last, in one small sentence it states that "In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death." Cape gooseberries contain … Whenever most of us hear the word cyanide we think of, perhaps, a white powder concocted in a lab by an evil genius who plans to poison someone like we've seen in old crime thrillers. We have heard of the dangers associated with these garden favorites, but there are other poisonous plants we may not be aware of even if we were raised on a farm or have been around them all our lives. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. In a concentrated form it is deadly, killing its victims in a matter of moments. Both the American gooseberry, Ribes hirtellum, and the European gooseberry, Ribes grossularia, grow in areas with cool, humid summers that chill adequately in the winter. Spines can be found on the branches along with the fruit, and the leaves are fleshy and edible. 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