Ribes / Currant
Common Name: Currant
Ribes, commonly known as currant or gooseberry, is a native shrub found throughout the United States (except Mississippi) and Canada. Ribes species flower in early to mid-spring and provide a valuable nectar source for early foraging spring bees such as digger bees, mining bees, mason bees and bumble bees. The long, tubular flowers of many commercially available species are lovely and fragrant, adding welcome color to an early spring garden. The currants or gooseberries, which appear in summer, also provide a valuable food source for birds and other wildlife.
Nationwide, most parts of the United States and Canada
Routinely available and easily grown in most parts of North America. Some species can be noxious or invasive if introduced, as they spread by suckering.
Full sun to partial shade
Average to dry
Ribes aureum (golden currant) is a widely distributed native species found throughout most parts of the U.S (except the Southeast) and southern Canada. It is also a routinely available, attractive garden plant, having prominent golden yellow flowers and a strong clove fragrance. Ribes aureum attracts and provides a valuable nectar source for a variety of spring bees.
Ribes sanguineum (redflower currant) is a West Coast native, producing graceful clusters of pink to red blossoms in late winter to early spring. The flowers attract numerous early emerging native bees, such as Anthophora, Eucera, Habropoda and Bombus species. More than a dozen hybrids and cultivars for this plant are commercially available, as it is popular in garden settings. It is drought-tolerant and prefers well-drained soils.