[The Gooseberry Family East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Golden Currant

Ribes aureum var. aureum

Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea

Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea)

The photo above shows golden currant as seen at Hog Lake, a BLM site east of Sprague, WA..........April 27, 2006.

Leaf of Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea)The photo at right shows a leaf of golden currant as seen at Hog Lake.
Characteristics:

Golden currant is an attractive, erect shrub from 1-3 meters tall with smooth stems and shiny green leaves. The leaves are 3-lobed at the tips and wedge-shaped wit the point at the petiole. The lobes may be coarsely or bluntly toothed at their tips, or entire. The leaves are 2-5 cm wide. The surfaces of the older leaves tend to be without hairs, although young leaves may have some hairs present.

The racemes are found on leaf bearing side branches. They are 25-75 mm long with 5-18 flowers. The fragrant flowers are 15-16 mm long with yellow sepals 5-6 mm long and the yellow, orange, or reddish petals about half as long as the sepals. The petals are erect and oblong-obovate in shape. The fruits are smooth-surfaced, and red, black, or yellow in color.


Habitat:

Golden currant may be found along stream banks and in flood plains in the grasslands, ponderosa pine forest, and in the sagebrush desert.


Range:

Golden currant may be found from central Washington south along the eastern edge of the Cascades to California and east to southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana. It has been introduced to British Columbia and may occasionally be found wild there.


Uses:

1. Ornamental shrub (somewhat susceptible to the wetter conditions west of the Cascades).

2. Popular plant of insect pollinators during the blooming period.

3. The berries are palatable to both humans and animals.


Close-up sideview of a flower of Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea) - Close-up of the flower of Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea)

Close-up images of the long, narrow tube and corolla lobes of golden currant flowers as seen at Hog Lake about a dozen miles to the northeast of Sprague, Washington........April 27, 2006.

Flower of Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea) - Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea) - Close-up sideview of the flowers of Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea)

Additional photos of golden currant as seen in wetlands along Oregon Highway 218 about one mile south of Shaniko, OR........May 14, 2010.

Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea) - Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea) - Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea)

Golden currant as seen along the west bank of the John Day River about 2.5 miles downstream from the Cottonwood Creek State Park campground..........April 6, 2015.

Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea)

The photo above shows golden currant as seen on slopes above Wilson Creek, a BLM site about 10 miles southwest of Wilbur, WA........April 30, 2007.

Golden Currant: Ribes aureaum

This photo shows a close-up of the flowers and a leaf of golden currant as seen in a riparian area at Fort Simcoe State Park to the southwest of White Swam, Washington.........April 5, 2008.

Yellow fruit of Golden Currant: Ribes aureum var. aureum (Synonym: Chrysobotrya aurea)

The photo above shows the golden berry of Ribes aureum at Summer Lake.......July 3, 1996.

Paul Slichter