Content Detail

An irregularly shaped, loosely branched, native shrub reaching 6 to 8 feet high. In springtime the bright yellow flowers smell like cloves.

  • Family (English) Gooseberry
  • Family (botanic) Grossulariaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Illinois, North America
  • Size range Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago)
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Dry sites
  • Season of interest early spring, mid spring
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Yellow
  • Shape or form Irregular
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size & form:

An irregularly shaped shrub with cascading, arching stems. Plants reach 6 to 8 feet high and wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:

Native from South Dakota to Texas and Minnesota to Illinois. Found on rocky bluffs, slopes, and along stream banks.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Birds and butterflies are attracted to the flowers.

Bark color and texture:

Deep brown, loosely branched, stems are thornless.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Alternate, blue-green ovate to rounded, 3-lobed leaves turn a dull yellow-brown in the fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Dioecious, bright yellow trumpet-shaped, clove-scented flowers in five to ten nodding racemes.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Female plants have 1/3-inch purple-black berries in June.

Plant care:

Best grown in full sun to part shade. Prefers organically rich moist to well-drained soil, but is tolerant of poor soils and drought once established. Avoid overhead watering to prevent mildew. Renewal pruning should be done in early spring. Plants may sucker, forming small colonies.

List of pests, diseases, tolerances and resistance:

Anthracnose, mildew, leaf spots, and rust can be problems. Resistant to rabbits. Tolerant of drought, erosion and clay.


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