Wild Guide: Missouri Gooseberry

By MDC | July 1, 2021
From Missouri Conservationist: July 2021

A favorite Missouri wild edible, gooseberries can be used for pies, cobblers, jams, and jellies. People will brave the thorny bushes to collect the tart, tasty fruits. Gooseberries flower from April to May, providing an early nectar source for springtime insects, and fruits from June to September. The whitish-green drooping flowers of Missouri gooseberry bloom in clusters of two to four. The fruit is borne from the round pistil at the base of the flower.

Did You Know?

Another name for gooseberry is feverberry because a tea made with the crushed berries was believed to help break a fever. Try a teaspoon to one cup of hot water (adding a sweetener is probably a good idea).

Gooseberry leaves may be used raw, in a tossed salad or in slaw, and the young, dried leaves also may be used for making tea. Pick the young leaves and allow three months to dry. To make tea, add a teaspoon of crushed gooseberry leaves to one cup of hot water, and let it steep several minutes.

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