Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Ribes grossularia ‘Ironmonger’

A cultivar of Ribes grossularia L. A red gooseberry, cultivated by 1831, although not new at this time [George Lindley – Orchard Guide p.178/1831]. ‘Ironmonger’ was only included among Additional Gooseberries Cultivated in this Country.

‘Ironmonger’ is considered a superior variety by Hogg and included among the hairy, round or roundish, red dessert gooseberries. 



Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Small and roundish. Skin red, and hairy. A first-rate variety, of excellent flavour, but inferior to Red Champagne, which is also known under this name chiefly in Scotland; and from which it is distinguished in having rounder and darker red fruit, and a spreading bush — that of the Red Champagne being erect; leaves downy.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.79 & 84/1860].

The Show Gooseberry Alcock's ‘Duke of York’ is used as illustration. It is probably very similar in appearance to ‘Ironmonger’ [PB pl.6/1812]. 



History at Camden Park

This gooseberry was requested from George Stevenson, nurseryman of South Australia, in 1844 and probably obtained from him [MP A2933-1, p.21/1844].




Published Apr 25, 2010 - 02:32 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2011 - 02:51 PM

The gooseberry illustrated is round, hairy and red-skinned. Pomona Britannica pl.6, 1812.

Ribes grossularia ‘Alcock's Duke of York’ | PB pl.6/1812.  This hairy, red, round gooseberry is probably very similar to Ironmonger.


Family Grossulariaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, England

  • Hairy Black


Common Name

Dessert Gooseberry

Name in the Camden Park Record

Gooseberry Ironmonger



Confidence level high