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Bumblebee visits the bright yellow flowers of a Golden Current (Ribes aureum). Another stunning Pacific Northwest native plant available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Close-up of leaves and yellow flowers of a Golden Current (Ribes aureum). Another stunning Pacific Northwest native shrub available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Close-up of Golden Current berries (Ribes aureum). Another stunning Pacific Northwest native shrub available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Stems of Golden Current (Ribes aureum). Another stunning Pacific Northwest native shrub available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon.

Golden Currant

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Ribes aureum

Golden currant is effortlessly gorgeous. This showy large shrub flaunts deciduous leaves that emerge bright green and glossy in spring, followed by golden yellow flowers adored by hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and beneficial insects. From an early age, the flowers mature into late summer fruits; small berries about half an inch in diameter that are amber yellow to black in color, edible, and attract a wide range of birds. By fall, the leaves transition to hues of orange and red. 

  • Plant type/canopy layer: large, deciduous shrub
  • Size at maturity: 6-10' tall, 5-10' wide
  • Light requirements: full sun, part-sun/part-shade
  • Moisture requirements: dry to wet soil
  • Bloom time: April - June
  • Growth rate/ease: moderate growth rate, easy to grow
  • Wildlife support: flowers attract and support hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and beneficial insects; fruits attract and support birds
  • Native habitat/range: Grows in moist woods, along streams, east of the cascades in WA, OR and northern CA and a small section of southern British Columbia. Portland Plant List - no. 
  • Special features & uses: hummingbird and wildlife magnet; pollinator plant; hedgerows and screens

Gardening with Golden Currant: Not only does it thrive in full sun to partial shade; dry, moist or wet soils - it also tolerates heavy, poorly-draining soils. Plus, to sweeten the deal, it fared better in the heat dome of June 2021 than its red-flowering cousin (Ribes sanguineum). Did we mention it's absolutely stunning and a wildlife magnet? Intermix it with evergreen species in hedgerows and screens, or simply plant it as the statement piece in your sunny native meadowscape or pollinator garden. 

Photo Credit 1: "Ribes aureum (Golden Currant)" by Plant Image Library is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo Credit 2: "Ribes aureum" by peganum is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo Credit 3: "File:Ab plant 1315 (Ribes aureum).jpg" by Andrew Butko is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo Credit 4: "golden currant, Ribes aureum var. aureum" by Jim Morefield is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0