Habit: a tall shrub with upright or spreading habit and loosely branched stems. Ribes lobbii grows to 3 feet tall and produces large, showy flowers. Its foliage and stems are sparsely covered with sticky, glandular hairs. Leaf blades are broad and shallowly lobed, bearing three-forked, stout spines at the nodes. In the spring the plant is adorned with charming solitary flowers. The corolla is fuchsia-like, with colors varying from white, to pinkish to red. The fruits are sticky, dark purple berries.
Ecology: it inhabits open slopes and woodlands, dry stream-banks, burned-over land and rocky outcrops, at low to mid elevations. Its native territory extends from southern Vancouver Island to northern California, and from the coast to the Cascade Range. In Washington, it grows on both sides of the Cascades.
Growing conditions: gummy gooseberry favors full sun and very dry to moderately dry soils. Its attractive flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds and an well-worth addition to an ornamental landscape. It should be planted in a dry, well drained site in the garden, or in a rock garden or open sloped field.
Gummy gooseberries are edible and are enjoyed by wildlife and people as well. Northern Coast natives collected ripe berries form the shrubs and ate them fresh or cooked. The roots were used for medicinal purposes and as a material to weave ropes and reef nets. They were boiled with cedar and wild rose roots and then pounded and dried prior to weaving.