Sunday, January 19, 2014
In the past, people raising White Pine removed all Gooseberries from an area because it spreads a fungus rust that kills the trees. While there are always exceptions, those Ribes called Gooseberries usually have thorns, and those called Currants are thornless.
My choice of words may be misleading. They don't contain a liquid toxin or poison. The thorns may be covered in dirt or bacteria. These thorns are longer and more rigid than any of the other species mentioned. So when they pierce the skin, the wound is larger and deeper. It not only affects the skin, but can irritate the nerves. Major swelling can occur and last a week. Anti-inflammatories may be needed.