Gooseberries (R. uva-crispa L.) are one of the four wild Ribes species (R. alpinum L., R. rubrum L. and R. petraeum Wulf.) growing in the Northern Hemisphere. As in currants, gooseberry also grows best in regions where summers are humid, but winter is severe and chilling.
|Amla-Indian gooseberries (Phyllanthus emblica).|
|Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana).|
Gooseberry plant is a fast-growing, small deciduous shrub growing about 4-6 ft in height, featuring sharp thorns all along its woody branches. The plant begins fruiting 2-3 years after plantation. Berries come in many shapes, colors, and tastes. They can be round, oval, pear-shaped or elongated, green, white, yellow, purple, red-brown or black color, sweet and tart. Their outer surface can be smooth or fuzzy (hairy) with conspicuous veins. Inside, a berry may hold 15-30 tiny edible seeds. In general, the berries measure 1-2 cm in width and weigh about 4 g to 10 g.
Indian gooseberries, also known as amla in the subcontinent, belongs to a different family of Euphorbiaceae. Their scientific name is Phyllanthus emblica. Indian gooseberry features a transversely spherical shape with a light green color. Amla berries are exceptionally high in antioxidants and vitamin C. For the same reason; they are excessively acidic and bitter (astringent) in taste.
Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana), also known as Peruvian cherry in the US, is native to the South American Andes region.
The berries are small, round, orange-yellow in color, encased inside a Chinese lantern-like papery thin husk.