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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.

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Ribes aureum (Golden currant)
Reveal, James L.

Ribes aureum

Ribes aureum Pursh

Golden Currant

Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)


USDA Symbol: riau

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

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

33 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Usually red, orange, brown or black, rarely yellow.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: 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 Conditions

Water 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.


Use 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 Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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


Description: 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

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-04-05
Research By: TWC Staff

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