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The Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry is a small to medium size deciduous shrub, growing with arching branches 4-6 ft. tall and as wide. Stems are covered with numerous sharp spines; glossy deep green leaves have large round lobes on margins. Large numbers of colorful bright red fuchsia-like flowers hang downward from branches during early spring and attract hummingbirds. Numerous spiny berries develop and persist into summer.

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry is native to coastal foothills from the San Francisco bay area through coastal and inland areas of Southern California. It does best on north facing slopes and along seasonal drainage with more moisture and protected from hot afternoon sun conditions.

The Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry is an easy to grow understory plant that contributes its attractive flowering value to the Western Sycamore Palette. Its best character occurs in partial shade with periodic watering during summer; it is often used on banks and in understory plantings, and set away from pathways where people can appreciate the flowers but not be harmed by the spines.

Water Needs

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry grows well throughout the Inland Empire in partial shade and with normal winter rainfall and moderate amounts of summer water. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; higher amounts of water will result in stronger springtime flowering performance and summer foliage character.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 3

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 9"-16"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous, Drought deciduous
Habit: Upright, Mounding, Arching
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 4 ft. - 6 ft.
Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Foliage Color: Dark green
Flower Color: Red
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Loam, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Heat, Frost, Fog, Drought, Cold hardy, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Hummingbird plant, Foundations, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Banks, Background plant, Attracts butterflies


This is a beautiful plant, with very sharp small thorns all along the stems. Unless you know you want this plant, most other plants would be better suited for the typical home garden. If you plant it, wear long sleeves and thick gloves and pants when pruning (S). Thin branches as needed in Fall to remove crossing or weak branches (2). Can be pruned to shape as needed anytime, but it is best done after spring fruit production (for the birds) (D).



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