Gooseberry/Blueberry Cross

Acheron(z4 MN)July 24, 2003

I think I may start to kick myself here. I have two plants next to each other in my backyard - a gooseberry and blueberry (the blueberry is a Polaris, I believe; not certain about the gooseberry). At any rate, tonight I found a grape-like fruit on the gooseberry plant, and like an idiot I ate it. It was pretty tasty, actually. Anyways, is this a weird cross, or is this pretty common? If not, I'll be kicking myself and hoping I get lucky again. If it's a common cross, I won't feel too bad. I looked it up and the families are dissimilar, so I'm starting to feel pretty stupid right about now. Please tell me I may get lucky again. Thanks!

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Acheron(z4 MN)

By the way, I did a quick check. The gooseberry is a pixwell.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2003 at 1:23AM
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Acheron(z4 MN)

Does anyone know of such a cross? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2003 at 8:45PM
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dupperdog(4b WI)

I would doubt if a gooseberry and a blueberry would cross. In general for a cross to occur, the two plants would have to be pretty closely related and gooseberries and blueberries are not even in the same family. Also, if a cross did occur, the fruit would not be any different from the regular fruit produced by the parent plant. The difference would be in the plants that you would grow from the seeds found inside the fruit. Sorry to disappoint you.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2003 at 6:50PM
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Acheron(z4 MN)

What should I make of the odd (and tasty) fruit then? It was about the size of a large grape (this was on the gooseberry plant) with a deep purplish hue to it. It tasted somewhat like a strawberry, but it had a slight 'kick' to it. What do you think? Thanks for the response, by the way!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2003 at 1:05AM
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david_zlesak(z4 MN)

The fruit tissue you ate is maternal tissue- the cells had the genetics of the gooseberry plant. The only products of hybrid origin would be within the fruit would be the embryo and endosperm within the seeds. Ribes (gooseberry genus) and Vaccinium (blueberry genus) as mentioned are vastly different. Ribes are in the rose family and Vaccinium is in the family which also includes azaleas and rhododendrons. It would be incredible if they crossed. I know blueberries are partially self-compatible and can set fruit from its own pollen, I'm not sure about gooseberry however. There are a lot of wild Ribes around depending where you live if it's self-incompatible.

Perhaps you had a cross pollinated gooseberry fruit with some other Ribes so there were a lot of fertile seeds inside producing hormones allowing the fruit to be an extra strong sink for carbohydrates allowing it to get so big and be so favorful???

Interesting thing to happen indeed.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2003 at 5:00PM
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Acheron(z4 MN)

Thanks for the follow up! Hopefully I'll get lucky again - if I do, I'll certainly keep this one (and post pictures of it). Thanks again for the insight - I'm new to this whole topic, and am learning quite a bit from people such as you!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 2:15AM
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I just wonder if this was the first "harvest" of the goosbeerry bush because you were so surprised by colour and size of the fruit. Anyway first of all there are some varieties with enormous big fruit, some of them even with smooth skin without "hair" and in shades of red or purple. Then if the number of fruits on a plant is quite small they can grow much larger and finally shades of red/blue on a plant are often signs of stress/desease/end of season, so it could have been the case that this single fruit was about turning bad therefore the strong flavour

    Bookmark   September 3, 2003 at 9:32AM
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