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Ribes cereum (Wax currant)
Reveal, James L.

Ribes cereum

Ribes cereum Douglas

Wax Currant, White Squaw Currant, Western Red Currant

Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

White squaw currant is a compact, mounded, unarmed shrub, 3-5 ft. tall and equally as wide, with cherry-like bark and tidy, light-green foliage turning yellow in fall. Clusters of light-pink, bell-shaped flowers give way to bright-red, fuzzy, feather duster-like currants.

This plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental, and its bright red berries can be used in pies and preserves.


From the Image Gallery

30 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf: Dark Green
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: Extreme s.w. ND to B.C., s. to NM & CA
Native Habitat: Pine forests; wood openings; dry slopes & ridges

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Not recommended; carries disease which kills white pine.


Use Wildlife: Berries are favorites among birds. Provides cover for a variety of wildlife.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: May be propagated by 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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

USDA: Find Ribes cereum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ribes cereum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ribes cereum


Record Modified: 2019-03-29
Research By: TWC Staff

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