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Click to read about the Ribes genus.

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Ribes montigenum

Ribes montigenum

Ribes montigenum

 

Ribes montigenum (Mountain Currant)
Grossulariaceae (Gooseberry Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands, streamsides. Spring, summer.
Lower Calico National Recreation Trail, June, 2011.
Sharkstooth Trail, June 24, 2014.
Lizard Head Trail, June 9, 2006, June 17, 2005, and June 16, 2016.

Our most common Ribes species and most prolific and reliable fruit producer is Ribes montigenum.  It has flesh-colored stems for the most recent year or two of growth, three large thorns at leaf nodes, and often has smaller spines along the stem.  Leaves are densely hairy, somewhat sticky, lobed, and cleft very deeply in three divisions.  Hundreds of delicate, pink-to-coral flared bell flowers cloak the plant in late spring and early summer.  Pedicels and calyces are covered in minute, glandular, sticky hairs.

A plant with rare creamy white flowers greeted us June 16, 2016.  

  Ribes montigenum

"Montigenum" is from the Latin for "mountain born".  Ribes montigenum was first collected in 1893 in the California Sierras by McClatchie and he named the plant in 1897.

Ribes montigenum

Ribes montigenum

Ribes montigenum (Mountain Currant)
Grossulariaceae (Gooseberry Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands, streamsides. Spring, summer.
El Diente Trail, August 29, 2005 and Upper West Mancos Trail, October 1, 2010.

Normally, even in dry years, most flowers mature and produce a hearty crop of tasty berries.  In the continuing drought of 2003, however, we found almost no berries; in the following years berries were again abundant and tasty.

Fall color is usually shades of yellow.

Ribes montigenum
Ribes montigenum (Mountain Currant)
Grossulariaceae (Gooseberry Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands, streamsides. Spring, summer.
Lizard Head Trail, September 15, 2010.

The dark hairs covering the berries might dissuade you from putting these fruits in your mouth, but the hairs are soft and you won't even notice them as you enjoy the delicate sweetness of these abundant Ribes.  The hairs are the same ones you see surrounding the ovary at the base of the petals in the photographs at the top of the page. The hairs are glandular and undoubtedly their sticky secretions contribute to the pleasant flavor of Ribes montigenum.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Ribes montigenum