Habit: small fragrant shrub with thorny, long, branching stems. The dark green, shiny, round leaves have 3 or 5 lobes, with toothed margins. Pendulant flowers are tubular, resembling those of a fuchsia, and dangle below the spiny branches. The sepals are burgundy-red, reflexed to reveal small white petals and protruding stamens and stigma. Fruit is a round red berry covered in thick, long prickles. Blooms from February to June.
Ecology: found in the Sierra Nevada and throughout much of California, on dry, open forest slopes, and chaparral woodlands at elevations of 3500-8000 ft (1100-2400 m).
Growing Conditions: partial shade in moist to dry, well-drained soil. Can tolerate winter flooding yet be drought resistant in hot, dry summers.
Edible berries, great for gooseberry jam.
Always seek advice from a professional before consuming or using a plant medicinally.