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Ribes missouriense, The Missouri gooseberry or Missouri currant, is a prickly, many-stemmed shrub native to the U.S. State of Missouri and to adjoining parts of Kansas and Arkansas. It has been introduced to other States as well, and to parts of Canada.[2]

The Missouri gooseberry was once common as far east as Ohio, but was nearly extirpated there during the 19th and 20th centuries (partly due to early 20th-century efforts to prevent the spread of white pine blister rust by removing as many Ribes hosts as possible). Since 1982, however, the Missouri gooseberry has been granted protected status as an endangered species in Ohio,[2][3] It is also endangered in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.[2]

The edible berries of the shrub are commonly called “gooseberries” by locals, but since it is taxonomically closer to currants than to the European gooseberry, they are sometimes called “currants” when grown outside their historic range.

Missouri gooseberries must not be confused with “devil’s tomatoes”, the poisonous fruits of the Carolina horsenettle. Although it is easy for an experienced person to differentiate one from the other, they have a few superficial similarities: they look somewhat similar when unripe, and both are borne on thorny, prickly plants. There is no taxonomic relation between them, however.

Written on June 21st, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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