Snow gooseberry is an attractive, erect shrub with many stems extending from 1.5-3 meters high. The long slender branches are gray to reddish-brown in color and bristly or with 2-3 stout spines from 7-15 mm long at thenodes. The blades range from kidney-shaped to ovate with squred-off to heart-shaped bases. The margins divided into 3-5 wide lobes which are cut up to one-half the distance into the blade and with smaller rounded teeth along the edge. The blades range from 2-4 cm wide and about as long. The leaves are lightly pubescent on both surfaces, with the upper leaf often glabrous in the western edge of the range with at least pubescent ventral veins, and pubescent on both surface at the eastern extent of the range.
The racemes are 3-4 flowered and found in the leaf axil. The racemes are about equal to or longer than the leaves. The pedicels are slender and not jointed, measuring from 10-15 mm long. The glabrous calyx and hypanthium is greenish and narrowly bell-shaped, about the same diameter throughout. The calkyx lobes are white to pinkish and spreading to reflexed backwards somewhat. Indiviual sepals meaure 6-7 mm long with rounded tips. The petals are white 2 mm long, and obovate to oblong in shape with rounded tips. The stamens extend beyond the calyx lobes by 1-3 mm. The filaments and anthers are covered with spreading, curved hairs (See photo above.). The styles are connected for well over half their length and are equal to or slightly longer than the stamens. The fruit is a globose berry that is about 8-12 mm in diameter. The blue-black berry is palatable but sour.
Snow gooseberry may be found in thickets in riparian areas and occasionally on open hillsides.
Snow gooseberry may be found from north-central Oregon east to southeastern Washington, eastern Oregon and western Idaho and south to northern Nevada.
In the Columbia River Gorge, snow gooseberry may be found between the elevations of 200'-700' at the base of cliffs on the south side of Interstate 84 to the west of Celilo, OR. It may also be found in Klamath County in south-central Oregon.