This deciduous shrub is found throughout California, usually growing in full sun and somewhat moist places. It grows 3 to 6 feet and has bright green, scalloped leaves and a showy display of bright yellow, spicily-fragrant flowers. Summer berries are yellow to red. Moderate water is best; prune every few years to stimulate new growth. These plants will suffer if their roots are handled. Do not pry or prune the roots.
The genus Ribes includes both Currants and Gooseberries (Gooseberries have spines). It is represented in California’s native flora by 35 species and 19 botanical varieties; these impressive numbers are well-matched by the genus’ importance and value for wildlife. These plants will suffer if their roots are handled. Do not pry or prune the roots.
Wildlife value: Hummingbirds and nectar-seeking butterflies frequent the flowers. The fruits have considerable value for songbirds, ground squirrels, and many other animals. The thorny foliage makes especially good nesting and cover areas.