markhobley's picture

Gooseberry bush seems to be growing currants

My dad has an old gooseberry bush. A couple of years ago, he noticed that after the gooseberries had finished, some dark berries formed near the top
of the plant. This has been happening for a couple of years now. Looking at he bush, the branches near the top have slightly different leaves, that
looks like currant bush leaves.

I spoke to an horticulturalist at college and he said that this might be some sort of reversion, and I need to find out the ancestor of the gooseberry
bush to find out what the berries were. He suspected that they were currants.

Has anyone else ever seen a gooseberry bush do this?

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anonymous spotter's picture

Gooseberry bushes

I gather that gooseberry bushes are (at least sometimes) propagated like roses by grafting a scion onto the rootstock of a related Rosaceae species - in this case a currant species Ribes aureum.
So what is probably happening is that the rootstock is exerting its influence on the rest of the plant, which I believe happens with a number of grafted plants over time.

app33's picture

Rootstack taking over

Almost certainly this is the old rootstock establishing itself, I understand that this is common in drafted plants, especially as they become older.