I have a plant in my USDA zone 5 garden that appears to be in the ribes genus.

enter image description here


  • The location is east of Toronto (Ontario, Canada).
  • The plant is currently flowering (today is May 18th, 2019).
  • It is approx 4 feet tall.
  • The plant flowers every year, but does not set fruit (not self-fruitful).

More photos here:

  1. https://i.sstatic.net/coEp5.jpg
  2. https://i.sstatic.net/wv0TA.jpg
  3. https://i.sstatic.net/pFmtk.jpg
  4. https://i.sstatic.net/KvjGe.jpg

What species is it?


1 Answer 1


I think this is Ribes americanum or wild black currant.

I'm basing this on page 306 of Newcomb's Wildflower Guide, an excellent source for the Eastern US and some of Canada. On that page we have two main choices:

  1. Base of flowers prickly or bristly... or

  2. Base of flowers not prickly or bristly...

Your excellent pictures suggest that your specimen is in category 2.

From there, we have:

a. Flowers solitary or 2-3 in a cluster; branches bearing a few thorns. or

b. Flowers 5 or more in racemes.

Your specimen looks to have quite a few flowers, so in category 2b we have a choice of Ribes americanum:

Whitish or yellowish flowers, longer than wide (and fruit black, you can check later I guess),

or Ribes sativum:

Greenish flowers, wider than long (and fruit red).

Color in the white/green/yellow range is a bit subjective, but your flowers look longer than wide, hence Ribes americanum.

Of course, with this in mind you might re-inspect the plant and refine this a bit.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm glad the photos worked out. I was just using an old phone camera. The key seemed to be to take lots of photos; one of them was bound to be in focus. :) $\endgroup$
    – User1974
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 16:47

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