Ribes aureum (*)
Ribes aureum Pursh
* Fl. Amer. sept. 1:164. 1813-1814
Ribes aureum Pursh (syn. R. odoratum H.Wendl.; Buffalo Currant; Clove Currant; Golden Currant; Missouri Currant) is a species of small to medium-sized deciduous shrubs 2 to 3 meters tall in the genus Ribes. It is native to Canada, most of the United States (except the southeast) and northern Mexico.
It blooms in spring with racemes of conspicuous golden yellow flowers, often with a pronounced fragrance similar to that of cloves or vanilla. Flowers may also be shades of cream to reddish, and are borne in clusters of up to 15. Leaves are green, shaped similarly to gooseberry leaves, turning red in autumn. The shrub produces berries about 1 centimeter in diameter from an early age. Ripe fruits, amber yellow to black in color, are edible. The flowers are also edible.
R. aureum is widely cultivated in average and cold temperate regions, such as California, as an ornamental plant or, more rarely, for fruits. Several named cultivars exist. Although flowers are hermaphrodite, the yield is greatly benefited by cross-pollination. Unlike many other species of currant, R. aureum is remarkably drought-tolerant.
This currant is susceptible to white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), a fungus which attacks and kills pines, so it is sometimes eradicated from forested areas where the fungus is active to prevent its spread.
The berries were used for food and other plant parts for medicine by several Native American groups.
1. ^ a b c d USDA Species Profile
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License