New Release: 'Jahns Prairie' Gooseberry

A selection of Ribes oxyacanthoides L. cv. Jahns Prairie was recently named and released by a cooperative effort of the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This plant is disease resistant and produces high quality, dark red, dessert gooseberries. This plant was selected by Dr. Otto L. Jahn from a native population of the species growing in Alberta, Canada, in 1984. The species is native in the northern prairies of the U.S. and Canada. Cuttings were propagated, grown and field evaluated as RIB 139 from 1991 to the present. The cultivar is named in memory of Dr. Jahn, who was the first curator for the National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Covallis, Oregon.

Fruit of Ribes oxyacanthoides L. cv. Jahns Prairie.

JAHNS PRAIRIE blooms in mid-April to early May. The flowers are inconspicuous, 1.0 centimeters long, 1-2 flowers per node, with a light green bell-shaped hypanthium and pinkish sepals that reflex upon maturing. The petals are white-pink and stamen are about equal in length to petals. The pedicels are short and unjointed. The globose green fruit turn red-pink upon ripening (3.8 grams per berry) from mid to late July. The fresh fruit quality is equivalent to European gooseberries.

The plant, which grows to a height of 1.5 m, has an upright growth habit with some sprawling branches. The leaf shape is similar to that of a European Hawthorn, Crataegus oxyacantha L., for which the species was named. The young branches generally have 1 nodal spine about 0.5 cm.

Under limited testing, this gooseberry cultivar has been rated as very disease resistant. Spring frost damage complexed with gray mold, Botrytis cinerea Pers., did not cause stem injury. Powdery mildew, Sphaerotheca mors-uvae (Schwein.) Berk. & Curt, did not infect stems or fruits, even during a cool wet summer where severe disease infestation was present in other cultivars. Leaves were free of leaf spot, Drepanopeziza ribis (Kleb.) Hohn, and remained green throughout the summer. Also, white pine blister rust, Cronartium ribicola Fisher, has not been observed on leaves of this plant. Neither aphids, nor saw-flies, Pachynematus spp., infested this plant although they were present on other cultivars in the trial planting in Corvallis.

Genetic material of this release is deposited in the National Plant Germplasm System where it will be available for research purposes, including development and commercialization of new cultivars. Limited quantities of JAHNS PRAIRIE cuttings are available. From: Kim E. Hummer, Curator, USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository, 33447 Peoria Road, Corvallis, OR 97333-2521. The Agricultural Research Service does not have plants for commercial sale.

K. Hummer, 1 July 1996