Ribes aureum Pursh
Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)
USDA Symbol: RIAU
Golden Currant is a 3-10 ft., deciduous shrub with light-green, three-lobed leaves and spicy-scented racemes of yellow flowers, turning orange with age, on long, wand-like stems. Berries are either orange, red or black when ripe.
A native of the West, Golden Currant has been planted eastward in the United States and has escaped from cultivation and naturalized in many places.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall.
Fruit: Usually red, orange, brown or black, rarely yellow.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , SK
Native Distribution: Sask. to NM, w. to n.c. WA & CA
Native Habitat: Moist to drier hillsides & river valleys
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist to drier soils.
Conditions Comments: The typical species is a very adaptable plant, tolerating standing water to drought. R. odoratum (a Great Plains/Midwest species) has been included in R. aureum. This a host to white pine blister rust.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Flowers provide nectar to hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Birds, bears and rodents eat the fruit.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Propagation is by twig cuttings and seed.
Seed Collection: Seeds need to be picked or stripped as soon as they are ripe to lessen losses to birds. Maceration and flotation can be used to extract the seeds.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Ribes aureum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ribes aureum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ribes aureum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-04-05
Research By: TWC Staff