prickly currant Grossulariaceae Ribes lacustre
Leaf:Alternate, simple, deciduous, palmately lobed (3 to 5 lobes), round in outline, 1 to 1 1/2 inch, serrated; dark green above but not glandular or hairy; underside is hairy; resembling small maple leaves.
Flower:Species is monoecious; small and saucer-shaped; green to maroon; occur in drooping clusters of 5 to 15 flowers.
Fruit:Dark purple, pea-sized berries covered with stalked glands; edible but taste is commonly weak; fall free from stalk when ripe.
Twig:Young twigs are heavily armed at nodes with multi-parted spines; prickles often occur between the nodes; older twigs mostly unarmed.
Form:Spiny, spindly deciduous shrub 3-6’ tall; erect in sun or trailing in shade. May grow alone or in thickets.