Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Ribes laxiflorum (Trailing black currant)
Weyand, Phyllis

Ribes laxiflorum

Ribes laxiflorum Pursh

Trailing Black Currant

Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)

Synonym(s): Ribes coloradense

USDA Symbol: RILA3

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

Usually this is a low, spreading shrub less than 3 ft. high but in dense shade it may be a climber up to about 20 ft. long. Branches are a deep reddish-brown. Leaves are five lobed, each lobe somewhat oval to triangular in shape and shallowly toothed. Flower clusters are erect and bear several small flowers. Flower color ranges from greenish-white tinged pink to deep purplish-red. The ensuing berry is purplish-black and bristly.

Berries are favorites among birds.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub , Vine
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Stems spreading, decumbent to vining, up to about 20 feet long, often shorter.
Fruit: Black, Purple.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red , Pink , Green , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , CA , CO , ID , NM , OR , UT , WA
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: AK, s. along the coast to CA & through B.C. & n. WA to s.w. Alt. & n. ID; also reported in Juab Co., UT
Native Habitat: Wet, coastal woods; mt. slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil Description: Wet to mesic soils.

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: Propagate by seed or cuttings.
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.
Seed Treatment: Natural germination normally occurs in the spring following dispersal. Most members of the genus require at least one, fairly lengthy stratification period to break dormancy.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

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 resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back