The cape gooseberry is a low lying bush with its bright orange berry enclosed in a pale brown parchment like case called the Cape. The berry is the size of a cherry tomato is very aromatic and full of tiny seeds. They are delicious eaten straight from the Cape or made into gooseberry Jam. They can be added to salads, desserts and cooked dishes, they are delicious stewed with apples or dipped in chocolate. They can also be dried or used in savoury dishes with meats and seafood. The small cucumber beetle also enjoys feasting on the cape gooseberry although they munch only on the leaves. Hand pick any beetles that you see as they are capable of breeding into large numbers very quickly.
Weed Warning: This old time favourite is very easy to grow. Birds and critters will enjoy its sweet fruit and it can be found growing in both native vegetation areas and occasionally in pasture areas. It is not a dominant weed but it can be somewhat of a nuisance when working to restore native vegetation areas. Native to South America
Plant Information or Specifications
Sub Categories (HashTags)
Great For Kids (#GreatForKids)
Learn About Climate Zones
Max Height (when in the ground with good conditions)
Plants required to Pollinate
1 (Self Pollinating)
Learn about Pollination
Can it Handle Frosts?
Amount of leaves in Winter?
All Leaves (Evergreen)
Quarantine Restrictions to these Areas
Suitability in Pots
Drought Hardy (Little Watering)
Is it a Dwarf Fruit Tree?
Dwarf (1/2 Normal Size)
Time to Fruit/Flower/Harvest
Sun or Shade
Preferred Soil Type
Moderately Acidic (5.5-6.5)
February, March, April, May, June
Customer Comments on Cape Gooseberry
I planted them outdoors with the tomatoes but they had not had time to ripen before the autumn came. This year I am starting them a month earlier than the tomatoes. | G. Stevenson - London, U.K. 06-Feb-2006
I did not plant them, they came up by bird dropings. They only grow in one garden in my yard, surrounded by ferns and under a big gum tree. I do not water it and it comes up every year.It grows only in winter in Queensland. | L. Kiehne - Brisbane, QLD 29-Jun-2008
I love my Gooseberries, but so do the little beetles in Brisbane, the larva make short work of the leaves, and I don't like spraying too much around the fruit. | David O'bryan - Mansfield, QLD 18-Oct-2008
Very similar to 'husk tomatoes' or tomatillo used for salsa only that tomatillo fruit are much larger | Franc Hancock - Stuarts Point, NSW 12-May-2009
I live in Tasmania (cool/temperate) and they ripen over a long period, even though winter. I froze them until I had enough to make jam. It worked perfectly and reached setting point quickly. Worth the wait! | Leah Carpenter - Launceston, TAS 27-Oct-2009
L did plant them but l have the problem of the colour they don't turn yellow/gold | Sifiso Dlamini - Mbabane,swaziland, MR 12-Mar-2010
They need a sandy soil. Water regularly. Frost kills them. | Michael - London, UK 07-May-2010
I live in Citrusdal in South Africa, where it often snows in winter and reaches 47 degrees C in Summer. Gooseberries grow fantastically here, in extremely sandy soils and require almost no nutrients. I started with 4 bushes last year, and now have 60 | Rob Stotter - Citrusdal, S.A 06-Jul-2010
Love them very much and am fascinated on the outer cover being eaten but not the berry, how to ripen the fruit is a problem...any advice please? | Diane Gill - Portland, VIC A 30-May-2011
I am growing them for the first time and was disappointed that the fruit were still green at the end of autumn. I thought that was the end of any hope of harvest. However the bush is is in full fruit now, in late winter, and the berries are delicious. I g | Meryl Constance - Sydney, NSW 18-Aug-2011
Worth a shot, interesting flavour, leaves attacked by beetles (Three-lined Potato Beetle). In Brisbane, problems with fruit being attacked by various insects/ants/caterpillars. Do not overfertilise, if at all, as you will get massive plants, little fruit. | Jon - Brisbane, QLD 18-Dec-2011
I planted seeds all came up h about 15inches tall then put up my allotment sheltered by shed and greenhouse well never expected 6plants to grow 7foot tall 8foot wide massive amounts large neighbours want plants this yr picked the last 9jan2012 lyn uk | Linda Long - England, EAST 14-Jan-2012
'goose-berries" as we call em, grow wild on the edge of the bush in at least the lismore/goonellabah area of nsw. autumn is ripening, and they are delicious | Jake - Lismore, NSW 14-Nov-2012
Took ages to ripen, almost a year, but ripened past autumn and during winter. | Mac - Melbourne, VIC 17-Aug-2015
Easy to grow. Seem to survive longer in well-drained sandy soils. eg much of Perth. Fallen fruit will keep well, even on the ground and continue to ripen to some extent. | Dave - Sydney, NSW 16-Oct-2017
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Kath's Edible Fruits
Update: 2638 days 18hrs
Comments: - Grows wild, mostly in cleared areas. A better weed than most, soft wooded, no thorns, edible fruit. I have to harvest them as soon as the crop starts before fruit fly get into them.
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