The Ribes sanguineum, also known as Red Flowering Currant, is a stunning medium-sized deciduous shrub that is sure to be a beautiful addition to any landscape. In early to mid-spring, this bushy shrub produces an abundance of drooping clusters of small pink to deep red flowers along the length of its stems. The flowers are not only showy but also serve as an early nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.
After the flowers, small blue-black berries covered with a thin white waxy coating appear on the shrub. While they are very tart, the berries are suitable for making jam, jelly, pie, juice, or syrup. The foliage of rounded, 3-5 lobed, dark green leaves turns shades of yellow and red in the fall and releases a strong resinous scent when crushed. The thin orange or red-tinted bark turns gray-brown and peels from older stems, adding another layer of visual interest.
Red Flowering Currant is commonly found in open woods, forest gaps, dry rocky slopes, and disturbed sites. It is attractive as a landscape specimen or informal hedge and is useful in restoration plantings. This shrub provides nesting sites or covers for songbirds and small mammals, and numerous birds and small mammals consume the berries.
Red Flowering Currant is fairly adaptable and can grow in medium water use conditions and varying light levels from full sun to shade. It prefers moist to drier, well-drained soils and can tolerate some exposure to maritime conditions.
Overall, the Red Flowering Currant is a great addition to any garden, with its beautiful flowers, fragrant foliage, and its ability to attract wildlife. Whether you want to create a naturalistic garden, a wildlife garden, or add a stunning focal point to your landscape, the Red Flowering Currant is a perfect choice.
References https://ibis.geog.ubc.ca/biodiversity/eflora/ https://www.wildflower.org/plants/ http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/ Photo credit Wikipedia
General: Deciduous shrub, loosely branched, 1-3 m tall; stems erect, finely hairy, unarmed; bark brownish to reddish-brown.
Leaves: Alternate, broadly kidney-shaped or rounded, shallowly heart-shaped at the base, 2-7 cm wide, equally to irregularly 5-lobed nearly half their length, the lobes rounded, shallowly 2-3 toothed, glabrous above, finely hairy below; stalks equal to or slightly shorter than the blades, finely hairy and sometimes glandular.
Flowers: Inflorescence of 5-30 flowers in a spreading raceme equal to or longer than the leaves; flower stalks 1-5 mm long, jointed below the flowers, glandular; petals light to dark rose, rarely white, egg-shaped, 2.5-3.5 mm long; hypanthium nearly tubular to slightly bell-shaped, 3-5 mm long; calyces pale to deep rose, finely hairy and stalked-glandular; styles fused and glabrous, about equaling the stamens.
Fruits: Berries, round, blue-black, glaucous, 6-9 mm long, usually stalked-glandular.