Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Northwest Native Currants

Kingdom Plantae– Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta– Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta– Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta– Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida– Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Rosales
Family Grossulariaceae– Currant family
Genus Ribes L.– currant

Species of this genus native to the Pacific Northwest: Washington, Oregon, California and some Canadian Provinces

Ribes L. Currant
Ribes acerifolium Howell Mapleleaf Currant
Ribes aureum Pursh Golden Currant
Ribes aureum Pursh var. aureum Golden Currant
Ribes binominatum A. Heller Ground Gooseberry
Ribes bracteosum Douglas ex Hook. Stink Currant
Ribes cereum Douglas Wax Currant
Ribes cereum Douglas var. cereum Wax Currant
Ribes cereum Douglas var. colubrinum C.L. Hitchc. Wax Currant
Ribes cruentum Greene Shinyleaf Currant
Ribes cruentum Greene var. cruentum Shinyleaf Currant
Ribes cruentum Greene var. oregonense A. Berger Oregon Currant
Ribes divaricatum Douglas Spreading Gooseberry
Ribes divaricatum Douglas var. divaricatum Spreading Gooseberry
Ribes divaricatum Douglas var. pubiflorum Koehne Straggly Gooseberry
Ribes erythrocarpum Coville & Leiberg Crater Lake Currant
Ribes hudsonianum Richardson Northern black Currant
Ribes hudsonianum Richardson var. petiolare (Douglas) Jancz. Western Black Currant
Ribes inerme Rydb. Whitestem Gooseberry
Ribes inerme Rydb. var. inerme Whitestem Gooseberry
Ribes inerme Rydb. var. klamathense (Coville) Jeps. Klamath Gooseberry
Ribes lacustre (Pers.) Poir. Prickly Currant
Ribes laxiflorum Pursh Trailing Black Currant
Ribes lobbii A. Gray Gummy Gooseberry
Ribes marshallii Greene Hupa Gooseberry
Ribes menziesii Pursh Canyon Gooseberry
Ribes menziesii Pursh var. menziesii Canyon Gooseberry
Ribes montigenum McClatchie Gooseberry Currant
Ribes nevadense Kellogg Sierra Currant
Ribes nevadense Kellogg var. nevadense Sierra Currant
Ribes nigrum L. European Black Currant
Ribes niveum Lindl. Snow Currant
Ribes oxyacanthoides L. Canadian Gooseberry
Ribes oxyacanthoides L. ssp. cognatum (Greene) Sinnott Stream Currant
Ribes oxyacanthoides L. ssp. irriguum (Douglas) Sinnott Idaho Gooseberry
Ribes roezlii Regel Sierra Gooseberry
Ribes roezlii Regel var. roezlii Sierra Gooseberry
Ribes rubrum L. Cultivated Currant
Ribes sanguineum Pursh Redflower Currant
Ribes sanguineum Pursh var. glutinosum (Benth.) Loudon Blood Currant
Ribes sanguineum Pursh var. sanguineum Redflower Currant
Ribes triste Pall. Red Currant
Ribes velutinum Greene Desert Gooseberry
Ribes velutinum Greene var. gooddingii (M. Peck) C.L. Hitchc. Gooding's Gooseberry
Ribes velutinum Greene var. velutinum Desert Gooseberry
Ribes viscosissimum Pursh Sticky Currant
Ribes watsonianum Koehne Spring Gooseberry
Ribes wolfii Rothr. Wolf's Currant

Wild currants here in Oregon's fertile Willamette Valley are a down-home touch in any landscape. Some bear delicious fruit, some pop in spring with colorful blossoms. Most of these northwest native shrubs change leaf color from green to bright golds and scarlets in the fall. Sizes at maturity range from 3 to 15 feet on average. They are, for the most part, resistant to pests and diseases. Any of these beauties will give additional wildlife value for food or nesting.

Click on links below for details on each species.

As yet, not all northwest native currants are covered in this website, though that may be done some time in the future. For now, we have information about only five of our northwest native currants.

Ribes aureum var. aureum (Golden Currant) Fine for native gardens, this currant is at home in much of North America, except the extreme southern and eastern states. It is hardy in USDA zones 2-10 and is highly tolerant of drought.


Ribes cereum var. cereum (Wax Currant) This mid-size deciduous member of the currant family is usually found on the eastern side of the Cascades where the weather is more sunny and drier than the west side.

Ribes divaricatum (Black Gooseberry) The flowers of this plant sort of resemble those of fuschias. After blooming, the hips of each bloom grow and form juicy berries which make excellent jam.

Ribes menziesii (Prickly Gooseberry) Instead of the usual shrubby shape common to other native currants,  this one has arching branches that root where they touch the ground. Fruit is relished equally by birds and humans.

Ribes sanguineum (Red-Flowering Currant) This currant has found great favor with landscape gardeners. Not surprising--blooming bright to pale pink from head to toe, blue fruits follow the flowers, and finally in late autumn the leaves color up for a fine fall show.

Contact:  nwplants@gmail.com ~ Copyright 2012 © The Wild Garden: Hansen’s Northwest Native Plant Database  ~ All rights reserved