Gooseberries (R. uva-crispa L.) are one of four wild Ribes species (R. alpinum L., R. rubrum L. and R. petraeum Wulf.) that grows in the Northern Hemisphere. As with currants, gooseberry also grows best in regions where summers are humid, but winters are harsh and cold.
|Amla-Indian gooseberries (Phyllanthus emblica).|
|Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana).|
The gooseberry plant is a fast-growing, small deciduous shrub that grows about 4-6 feet tall, featuring sharp thorns on all of its woody branches. The plant begins to bear fruit 2-3 years after planting. Berries come in a variety of shapes, colors, and flavors. They can be round, oval, pear-shaped or oblong, green, white, yellow, purple, red-brown or black in color, sweet and sour. Their outer surface can be smooth or fuzzy (hairy) with noticeable veins. Inside, a berry can contain 15-30 small edible seeds. Generally, the berries measure 1-2 cm in diameter and weigh about 4 g to 10 g.
Indian gooseberries, also known as Amla in the subcontinent, belonging to another Euphorbiaceae family. Their scientific name is Phyllanthus emblica. Indian gooseberry features a transversely spherical shape with a light green color. Amla berries are extremely high in antioxidants and vitamin C. For the same reason; they are extremely acidic and bitter (astringent) in taste.
Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana), also known as the Peruvian cherry in the US, is native to the Andes region of South America. The berries are small, round, orange-yellow in color, enclosed within a Chinese paper lantern-like thin skin.