Ribes aureum
Common name: 
Golden Currant
Buffalo Current
Pronunciation: 
ri-BEEZ OW-ree-um
Family: 
Grossulariaceae
Genus: 
Synonyms: 
Ribes aureum var. aureum
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
Yes
  • Deciduous multistemmed shrub, erect, to 6-8 ft (~2-2.5 m) high, similar width, form suckers; stems are pinkish-gray and without spines.  Leaves alternate, simple, 2-5 cm wide, 3(5) lobed, light green, semiglossy, without hairs (glabrous); red foliage in fall.  Flowers tubular, about 10 mm long, 5 petals, yellow, turning orange or red with age, fragrant, few to 15 per cluster, appear just after leaves.  Fruits spherical, about 6 mm, hairless, yellow, orange, red, or purple black.
  • Sun to shade.  Tolerates many soil types.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3
  • Three varieties or subspecies are recognized by the USDA PLANTS database (all have Golden Current as one of their common names):
    • Ribes aureum var. aureum, the type variety, syn. with Ribes aureum Pursh.  Native range is from British Columbia east to Saskatchewan, south to western Nebraska, Colorado, and northwestern Texas, west to Los Angeles, California, and north to the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range.
    • Ribes aureum var. gracillimum (Coville and Britt.) Jepson, syn. Ribes gracillimum.  Native to California and into Mexico.
    • Ribes aureum var. villosum DC, syn. with Ribes odoratum.   Native range from North Dakota to east to Minnesota and south to Texas and Arkansas.
  • Several authorities point out that plants sold as Ribes aureum may actually be Ribes odoratum and vice versa!
  • aureum: Latin, golden-yellow
  • Dallas, Oregon: Delbert Hunter Arboretum
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: north side of Peavy Hall, next to the stairs.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • flowers and foliage

    flowers and foliage

  • leaves

    leaves

  • flowers and leaves

    flowers and leaves

  • flowers

    flowers

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall