Garden Alphabet: Currant (Ribes)
During our last trip to Ohio, I was surprised to see so many wild currant bushes in the fence rows, parks and yards. I don’t remember currants from my childhood at all and I am not sure how I missed their existence, as we spent many long days wandering about the wood lots and farms of my small town. I saw many varieties of currents on this trip. This is an orange variety, but I also saw red, purple and almost blue varieties, too.
“Ribes // is a genus of about 150 species of flowering plants native throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It is usually treated as the only genus in the family Grossulariaceae. Seven subgenera are recognized.
The genus Ribes includes the edible currants (blackcurrant, redcurrant, whitecurrant), gooseberry, and several hybrid varieties. It should not be confused with the dried currant used in cakes and puddings, which is a cultivar of small grape (Zante currant). It gives its name to the popular blackcurrant cordial Ribena.
The genus also includes the group of ornamental plants collectively known as the flowering currants, for instance R. sanguineum.
Previously in Garden Alphabet:
- California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
- Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)
- Castor Bean (Ricinus)
- Japanese Cherry (Prunus serrulata)
- Daffodil (Narcissus)
- Dietes (Fortnight Lily)
- Grape (Vitis vinifera)
- Hibiscus (Malvaceae)
- Kniphofia “Red Hot Poker”
- Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
- Magnolia x soulangeana (Saucer Magnolia/Tulip Tree)
- Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
- Matilija Poppy (Romneya)
- Morning Glory (Convolvulaceae)
- Orchid from the Southern California Spring Garden Show 2013
- Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)
- Polygonatum (Solomon’s Seal)
- Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota)
- Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)
- Water Lily (Nymphaeaceae)