|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 in diameter from an early age. Ripe fruits, amber yellow to black in color, 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.
- Flora of North America Ribes aureum var. villosum
- 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
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ribes aureum.|