WSU Clark County Extension

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Red Flowering Currant

Scientific name: Ribes sanguineum

Type:Deciduous shrubs
Plant Requirements
Zone:5 to 9
Plant Characteristics
Height:10 ft
Width:5 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:May to June
Bloom Color:Red
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Flowering currant is not only a Northwest native, growing extensivley from British Columbia south to northern California, but has also become popular garden shrub grown for its brightly colored and scented flowers in early spring.

This deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub grows 8’-10’ tall on upright-arching stems. It bears deep green leaves 2” wide, each with 3-5 lobes. The upper surfaces of the leaves are smooth, while the lower surfaces are white and finely hairy. The plants bloom in early spring (April to May), bearing 1”-3” long flower clusters (with 10-30 flowers per cluster) which hang down and seem to entirely cover the stems. There are both red ('King Edward VII') and white ('White Icicle') flowering cultivars available in the trade. Both hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the bloom. In the fall flowers give rise to blue-black fruit with whitish bloom. Songbirds readily consume the berries.

Flowering currant does best on the west side of the Cascades. It does best in rocky, well drained soil in sunny locations. Left on its own it should continue to bloom faithfully every spring. While it can be left un-pruned, it is advisable to cut branches that have flowered back to a strong pair of buds just after they have bloomed. In the fall berries can be consumed fresh (they are insipid however) or processed into jams, or made into wine.

None reported. Flower currant does however serve as the alternate host for white pine blister rust, which severely impacts western white pine trees.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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