Posted: Oct-01-2003 at 2:48pm
Hello Rainysiders(well not here in Vancouver where we are under water restrictions, I'm sure the rainy season will start up soon enough!)
I haven't posted here very often, a few times on the old format but I am a daily lurker who much enjoys this forum.
I am hoping that someone here has successfully grown Ribes lobbii (gummy gooseberry) and might be able to share any tips on it's cultivation. I have just received by mailorder this morning 2 lovely healthy gallon size [plants and I am hoping for the best for them. I can find very little information on their culthure through a google search; actually conflicting info as to siting them in sun or shade and the water requirements. Yeah I know I should have done more research before purchasing but of course I fell in love with a glossy photo and I am trying for more early spring blooming 'somewhat natives' for the hummingbirds. I would love to hear any success stories or even failures that I could learn from.
Vancouver, B.C. Canada z8b
Posted: Oct-02-2003 at 12:56pm
Gosh, I wish someone would chime in on this issue for you. It seems like I have one of these plants but I took my database home from work and my evenings have been very busy so I forget to get on-line. But I'm just sure I have one of these plants. Was it from you, Lisa? Anyway, if it's the plant I'm thinking of, it has thorns and is easy to grow. Mine is growing in full sun and not-so-great dirt. I might have even put some rotted wood in the hole. Anyway, I planted it and forgot it and I'm sure it's still there. You have quite different soil than I do, though. I have a lot of clay so my soil retains water. Your conditions might require more water. That's good to know that the hummers will be attracted to it. They sure like my other Ribes (sanguineum). That, and those pretty orange/red/pink Agastaches in the summer. Good luck!
Posted: Oct-02-2003 at 12:59pm
Hi Hummy, I could have sworn I answered this yesterday. Hmmm not sure what I did.
I have not grown this by planting it myself and am searching for it to put in my garden. Where I used to live it grew all over and I had some growing on the property. They appeared at the edges of woodland in well drained (sometimes very rocky soils). So I would site them in partial shade. They are drought tolerant since they are a native, but you will want to make sure they are well established before you stop giving them supplemental watering.
Good luck with this plant and wish your source was something I could use as I want this plant again. It is a beauty for sure!
Oh and welcome to Rainy Side!
Posted: Oct-03-2003 at 9:42am
Thanks Wanda and Debbie for chiming in and for the welcome! Yes Wanda this is the one with thorns; I haven't pointed that out to my husband yet :>) !! I think I might have a good spot for it, though in high summer it's top will likely be in full sun.
Debbie, I ordered mine mailorder from Fraser's Thimble Farms on Salt Spring Island, B.C. I was very pleased with their service and the size of plants, although disapointed they were unable to provide the Arctostaphylos x media that I wanted. I also got more Lonicera ciliosa. I haven't had success wtih my last attempt at growing this one. They do apparently ship to the states but have a $50.00 minimum and $10.00 phytocertificate charge. Don't know if those are U.S.$ of canadian. I'm suprised it isn't more readily available to you. The Ribes was reasonably priced at $10.00 canadian for gallon size. Maybe you could order with a group of friends. Good luck and thanks kindly for the response.
Vancouver, B.C. Canada z8
Posted: Oct-13-2003 at 6:23pm
While researching Ribes sanguineum, I came across more info on Ribes lobbii for you, Cheri. This info comes from the Portland Plant Lists, a great publication for about $6.
Pioneer Gooseberry is not common in Portland. It is also known as 'Gummy gooseberry' because it has hairy, sticky berries and sticky stems and leaves. There are usually 3 long spines at the point where the leaves attach to the stems, as well as spines along the stems. The large oval fruits, green in the early summer and maturing to a reddish brown, are ornamental but not edible by humans. From April to June, Pioneer Gooseberry has 1" red and white fuschia-like flowers. Mature height: 4', Growth rate: Medium. Conditions: Full to part sun, dry to moist soil. Relocate success: Medium. Availability: Low (container). Habitat types: Forest, Thicket, Grass.
To quote from Art Kruckeberg's book Gardening with Native Plants in the Pacific Northwest: Ribes lobbii, a montane forest species of the east side has exquisite pendant flowers (red calyx and white petals like a small fuschia).
Based on what Kruckeberg says about it ("montane forest") and Debbie's observations, I'd bet it would do best with good drainage. If I come across anything more, I'll post.
(Yes, Wanda, I gave you the R. lobbii - loved it but had no place for it. I knew you'd give it a good home. )
Posted: Oct-13-2003 at 6:59pm
Yup, I uncovered more info for you while researching Ribes sanguineum.
Try this site for info about habitat for R. lobbii (scroll down) from (of all places) Washington State Department of Transportation Ribes lobbii
It confirms suspicions that it does best on well-drained sites.
_ Gardening in Sunset Zone 6, USDA Zone 8.
Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul. - The Koran
Posted: Oct-13-2003 at 8:10pm
HummyMummy, Thanks for the information, I will continue to look stateside and by spring if I haven't found a U.S. source I will go the Canadian route! I am glad they can ship across the border.
Lisa, Yes I would definately say well drained soil. I remember seeing one growing in a gravel quarry in very rocky soil and all the others I saw seemed to be situated in the same type of soils. I thought they bloomed earlier than April. Oh but when they are in bloom they light up the woodlands with such a spectacular bloom. I always thought Art really liked that shrub as he did put in on the front cover of his book. It definately is a showstopper when it blooms.
Wow you gave one away???? Wanda is one lucky gardener! I am jealous Wanda.
I will keep looking as this has been on my wish list ever since we moved here.
Posted: Oct-17-2003 at 3:14pm
Hi Rainysiders (!!!) Are you getting as much rain as we are here in Vancouver, B.C.? Apparently we have had the heaviest rainfall in the last 24 hours since 1975 and are breaking that heavy rainfall record. All this after only two days of rain in the whole of July/August/03! I could float rubber duckies in the back yard!! Anyhow sorry my response is late(have been away from my computer), but wanted to extend my appreciation for the further info you have posted. You did a lot better than I did. Lisa I will have to look into obtaining a copy of that book, as I do enjoy growing a lot of 'native shrubs' as the background to my garden. I garden exclusively for birds and butterflies, but I confess my main purpose is to support the hummingbirds and I know you will know whom I'm talking about when I say that S.G. guy has a lot to do with the other type of non-natives I grow. I love this site and hope to see it grow.
Good growing to you, and I will post an update on the fate of my Ribes lobbii in the spring. Hmmm... I wonder how long it will take to bloom?