|Ribes aureum var. aureum, Spring Mountains, Nevada.|
Ribes aureum, known commonly as the golden currant, is a species in the genus Ribes. It is native to Canada, most of the United States (except the southeast) and northern Mexico. The species Ribes odoratum is closely related, and sometimes named Ribes aureum var. villosum.
The plant blooms in spring with racemes of conspicuous golden yellow flowers, often with a pronounced, spicy fragrance similar to that of cloves or vanilla. Flowers may also be shades of cream to reddish, and are borne in clusters of up to 15. The shrub produces berries about 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) in diameter from an early age. Ripe fruits, amber yellow to black, are edible raw, but very tart, and are usually cooked with sugar. The flowers are also edible.
- Ribes aureum var. aureum (< 3,000 ft; western U.S.) 
- Ribes aureum var. gracillimum (< 3,000 ft; California coastal ranges) 
- Ribes aureum var. villosum — clove currant (syn: Ribes odoratum; west of Mississippi River) 
Ribes aureum is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant, in traditional, native plant, drought tolerant, and wildlife gardens, and natural landscaping projects. Unlike some other species of currants, Ribes aureum is in the remarkably drought-tolerant group of Ribes. Named cultivars have been introduced also.
Culinary and medicinal
- Rust host
This currant species is susceptible to white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), a fungus which attacks and kills pines, so it is sometimes eradicated from forested areas where the fungus is active to prevent its spread.
- The Plant List, Ribes aureum Pursh
- Plants for a Future, Ribes aureum
- Plants for a Future, Ribes odoratum
- Flora of North America Ribes aureum var. villosum
- Flora of North America, Ribes aureum
- USDA Species Profile
- Jepson Manual treatment for Ribes aureum var. aureum
- Jepson Manual treatment for Ribes aureum var. gracillimum
- Las Pilitas Nursery horticultural treatment: Ribes aureum . accessed 1.30.2013
- University of Michigan (Dearborn): Ethnobotany
- US Forest Service Fire Ecology
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