Description from Flora of China
Grossularia Miller; Ribesium Medikus.
Shrubs, rarely small trees, deciduous, rarely evergreen or semievergreen, sometimes epiphytic. Branchlets spiny, prickly, or unarmed; spines sometimes verticillate below nodes. Buds with several scarious, papery, or herbaceous scales. Leaves alternate, rarely fascicled, petiolate, exstipulate; leaf blade palmately lobed or rarely entire, folded or rarely convolute in bud. Inflorescences many- or few-flowered racemes, rarely corymbs or subsessile umbels, sometimes flowers clustered or solitary. Bracts ovate to lanceolate, rarely ligulate or linear. Flowers bisexual, or unisexual and shrubs dioecious. Calyx tube rotate to cylindric or tubular, basally adnate to ovary; lobes (4 or)5, erect or reflexed at anthesis, petaloid, sometimes changing in fruit. Petals (4 or)5, concolorous, alternate with and often smaller than calyx lobes, sometimes absent. Stamens (4 or)5, alternate with petals and inserted on rim of calyx tube or slightly lower, often vestigial or with undeveloped pollen in female flowers. Ovary inferior, rarely semi-inferior, shortly stalked, 1-loculed, vestigial or absent in male flowers; ovules many. Style 2-lobed or divided for almost 1/2 its length, rarely entire. Fruit a juicy berry, with persistent calyx apically. Seeds many, albuminous; testa and endosperm gelatinous; embryo cylindric, minute.
About 160 species: mainly in cold and temperate regions of the N hemisphere, abundant in E Asia; 59 species (25 endemic, five introduced) in China.
(Authors: Lu Lingdi (Lu Ling-ti); Crinan Alexander)